Anti-Phishing Work Group (APWG)
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.
Click here for the APWG Q4 2015 report.
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.
- On May 24, 2016, the APWG announced that the number of observed phishing attacks in Q1 2016 was higher than any total since 2004.
- More than 75% of the phishing websites observed in Q1 2016 were hosted in the U.S.
Click here for the APWG Q1 2016 report.
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.