Phishing attacks soar in December

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Phishing attacks soar in December

Phishers represent over half of all web-based threats.

Phishing attacks soared in December as cyber criminals looked to capitalise on the higher number of online shoppers in the run up to Christmas, according to managed security firm Network Box.

The firm’s analysis of web-based threats in December 2009 shows that just over 57 percent of all threats were phishing attacks, compared to 28.3 percent in November.

“The run up to Christmas is traditionally a time for hackers to strike the vulnerable. A higher proportion of shopping is done online, with more money spent than at any other time of year,” warned Network Box internet security analyst Simon Heron.

“Christmas offers rich pickings for phishers. This is likely to continue through the sales in January, and we urge online bargain hunters to be vigilant.”

The firm also found that the greatest source of viruses and spam during the same time period was Brazil, which accounted for 20.9 percent of all viruses and 9.1 percent of all spam originated in December. This is up from 14 percent and eight per cent respectively in November.

Network Box also warned that India is playing an increasingly significant role in the world’s threat landscape, with 6.8 percent of all spam coming from the sub-continent, up from 4.2 percent in November; and 4.1 percent of viruses – the same as in November.

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