Record high for phishing in January

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Latest stats from RSA Security sees attacks up 21 per cent from December.

January marked a record high for the number of phishing attacks, seeing a 21 per cent increase over the month before, according to the latest figures from security vendor RSA Security.

The firm’s monthly Online Fraud Report showed that recorded phishing attacks reached an all-time high of 18,820, more than double the figure of a year ago.

Fast-flux attacks in January accounted for 24 per cent of phishing incidents, up 4 per cent from December. Standard phishing attacks showed a 12 per cent increase compared with December.

There was some slightly encouraging news however in that the total number of attacked brands only climbed by two per cent compared to December. However, 35 new organisations suffered their first attack in January, more than triple the number reported in December.

RSA Security also reported a growing trend of phishing attacks against colleges and universities, with attacks disguised as the online portals or webmail services of American higher education institutions.

“Compromised webmail accounts may give phishers another foothold in students’ personal computers, since compared with other unsolicited e-mail content, spam e-mails would gain credibility when coming from peers, especially if messages are sent from a university webmail address,” the report warned.

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