Anti-Phishing Work Group (APWG)

Significance of phishing is growing.

Anti-Phishing Education & Testing is Important

Semi-annually, the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) publishes the Phishing Activity Trends Report.  These reports address phishing trends and underscore the significance of phishing by quantifying the scope of the global phishing problem. 
Key findings in the APWG Phishing Trends Report for Q4 2015:
• The Retail/Service sector became the most-targeted industry sector in
  the fourth quarter of 2015, with 24.03% of all phishing attacks.
• There has been a notable increase in software bundlers, which install   
  unwanted programs without the user’s consent.
• Belize and the United States topped the list of countries that hosted
  phishing sites.
• The USA remained the top country hosting phishing-based Trojans and
  downloaders during the three-month period.
• The number of brands targeted by phishing remained constant
  throughout 2015, although new companies and institutions were always
  being targeted.
• In Q4 2015, 14 million new malware samples were captured.
The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) observed more phishing attacks in the first quarter of 2016 than at any other time in history.  According to the APWG’s new Phishing Activity Trends Report, the total number of unique phishing websites observed in Q1 2016 was a record 289,371, with 123,555 of those phishing sites detected in March 2016.
Key findings in the APWG Phishing Trends Report for Q1 2016:
          • There was a 250% increase in phishing sites between October 2015 and
           March 2016.
          • Globally, attackers using phishing techniques have become more
           aggressive in 2016 with keyloggers that have sophisticated tracking
           components to target specific information and organizations.
          • The Retail/Service sector remained the most-targeted industry sector
           during the first quarter of 2016 with 42.71% of attacks.
          • The number of brands targeted by phishers in Q1 2016 remained
           constant – ranging from 406 to 431 brands each month.
          • The United States continued its position at top on the list of nations
           hosting phishing websites.
          • In Q1 2016, 20 million new malware samples were captured.
          • The world’s most-infected countries are led by China, where 57.24% of
           computers are infected.
What does this mean for businesses?  Although there have been some changes in various components of phishing and attack vectors, the problem is still significant.  As indicated by the data, all businesses should be aware of the problem and take proactive steps including training and testing.
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