Sophisticated phishing schemes are targeting top executives and the most vital data networks with greater accuracy and proficiency than ever before, according to the latest survey data compiled the Anti Phishing Working Group (APWG).
High-profile cyber attacks on major corporations and government agencies are not only becoming more common, but, as eSecurity Planet found, also tailored to specific individuals who have been electronically stalked for months or even years.
And even though popular social networking sites, payment processors and major e-commerce sites still remain in serial phishers’ sights, smaller e-tailers, local banks and off-the-beaten-path manufacturing firms are the new targets of choice.
The report also found that the number of hijacked brands soared to an all-time high of 356 in October, up from the previous record of 341 in August, according to the Cambridge, Mass.-based industry association created to fight identity theft and fraud.
“Spear-phishing and whale-phishing, where targeted individuals inside of corporations or of high net worth, appears to be increasing,” APWG chairman Dave Jevans said in the report. “These attacks do not contribute significantly to the overall number of unique phishing e-mails that are sent, as they are not using broad-based spam.”
Jevans said the trend these days is for phishing syndicates, which APWG and law enforcement agencies estimate at around three dozen worldwide, are customizing their e-mails and text messages to target individual users.