Phishers stir up ‘perfect crimeware storm’

Powered by SC Magazine
 

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) reported today that December last year provided conditions for “a near perfect crimeware storm”. The group’s latest research reveals that crimeware-distributing sites nearly doubled in number in the month of December 2005, hurtling from 1044 in November to 1912.

According to APWG, phishers had already built out the eCrime infrastructure for the holidays with the number of dedicated phishing sites jumping from 4630 to 7197. Meanwhile, the new WMF image-rendering vulnerability related to Windows Meta Files was being exploited by phishers to spread crimeware code that would install keyloggers and IRC-based administration tools on vulnerable Windows PCs.

APWG Chairman David Jevans said: "The speed, precision and massive scale by which the phishers were able to identify and exploit this vulnerability for criminal enterprise highlights the fact that the eCrime industry has reached a level of efficiency that has the potential to threaten the larger online economy."

APWG Secretary General Peter Cassidy added: "It's apparent while we reveled in holiday celebrations, we silently passed a grim new milestone."

The report also noted that December 2005 showed a "disturbing" trend of far more brands being spoofed than in any month on record. Over 120 brands were used in phishing attacks during the month. A large number of banks, credit unions and credit card associations were attacked. A larger number of European financial institution attacks were reported than in previous months.

APWG also reported receiving complaints of attacks against numerous ISPs, webmail providers and even P2P networks. It also noted numerous reports in December of a U.S. Internal Revenue Service phishing attack.

The December APWG report is informed by research contributed from analysts at Websense Security Labs, MarkMonitor and Panda Software. APWG members include national law enforcement agencies, global banks and financial institutions, national ISPs, ISVs, hardware vendors and e-commerce companies. The group, formed in 2003, has more than 2200 members worldwide from 1500 companies, government regulatory ministries and law enforcement agencies.

Copyright © SC Magazine, US edition


 
 
 
Top Stories
Meet FABACUS, Westpac's first computer
GE225 operators celebrate gold anniversary.
 
NSW Govt gets ready to throw out the floppy disks
[Opinion] Dominic Perrottet says its time for government to catch up.
 
iiNet facing new copyright battle with Hollywood
Fighting to protect customer details.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
In which area is your IT shop hiring the most staff?




   |   View results
IT security and risk
  26%
 
Sourcing and strategy
  12%
 
IT infrastructure (servers, storage, networking)
  21%
 
End user computing (desktops, mobiles, apps)
  15%
 
Software development
  26%
TOTAL VOTES: 335

Vote
Would your InfoSec team be prepared to share threat data with the Australian Government?

   |   View results
Yes
  57%
 
No
  43%
TOTAL VOTES: 139

Vote