The research, carried out be anti-virus vendor Sophos, scanned all phishing email messages received in the company's global network of spam traps during 2006. It revealed that 54.3 percent were attempting to steal information from users of PayPal. The second most common targets, at 20.9 percent, were users of the eBay online auction service eBay.
"The reason why the phishers focus so much on PayPal and eBay is because they are so popular around the world. Although bank customers do also suffer from phishing attacks, they tend to be less likely to have the global reach that these net giants have," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos.
He said that PayPal and eBay have worked hard to educate and protect their customers from these kind of attacks. "But the best solution is for computer users to be more savvy about securing their identity in the first place, and think before they click," he added.