Phishing has, unfortunately, become a part of our everyday life, whether we like it or not. Cyber attacks have become more refined and changed their modus operandi – they have now gone mobile and social. According to the yearly Norton Cybercrime Report issued in September 2012, cybercrime has been enjoying exponential growth within the last year and the direct costs associated with global consumer cybercrime at US reached $110 billion over the past twelve months.
The Calm before the Storm: A Spike of Email Phishing Activity in August 2012
According to the monthly periodical Symantec.Cloud data, global email phishing rates stayed calm during the spring and most of the summer of 2012: 0.21% of all mail was detected as phishing in April, June and July; this rate was a bit lower in March and May (0.20% and 0.18% respectively). However August 2012 showed a spike in phishing activity and accounted for 0.32% of phish emails, or one in 312 messages analyzed.
See below a chart based on the Symantec data which traces the rising trend:
Most Attacked Countries
Month by month, the Netherlands remained the most attacked country in terms of email phishing attacks, and July 2012 was not an exception. According to the Symantec Intelligence Report, as of July 2012, one in 94.4 emails (1.06%) was identified as phishing in the Netherlands. South Africa was the second-most targeted country, with one in 171.2 emails (0.58%) identified as a phishing attack.
Phishing levels for the US reached one in 995.5 (0.1%) and one in 244.9 (0.41%) for Canada. In Germany the phishing level was one in 1,091.0 (0.09%); Denmark accounted for a 0.14% phishing rate (one in 719.6 emails). In Australia, phishing activity accounted for one in 752.1 emails (0.13%) and one in 2,241.4 in Hong Kong (0.04%). For Japan it was one in 7,448.8 (0.01%) and one in 3,450.6 for Singapore (0.03%). In Brazil one in 786.2 emails was blocked as phishing (0.13%).
Organizations Spoofed in Phishing Attacks, by Industry
In July 2012, Information Services, Banking and E-Commerce were the most targeted industries among the organizations spoofed in phishing attacks: these industries accounted for 36.29%, 32.99% and 27.99% of all victimized companies respectively.
The other industries, from the most popular to the least popular, go as follows: Telecommunications (1.4%), Communications (0.46%), Retail (0.44%), Government (0.37%), Insurance (0.02%), Retail Trade (0.014%), Security (0.011%) and ISP (0.002%).
Do you find your industry in the list? Take preventive measures before cyber criminals tarnish your reputation. Use SSL certificates for your websites, assess your websites for vulnerabilities on a regular basis, ensure a strong password policy in your company and ask your employees to follow 5 simple rules of cyber security. Also, remember to install EmailTray as your smart anti-phishing email client on your PCs and Android devices. Then you can enjoy emailing which is free from spam and email phishing!