The record shattering phishing attack wave in the second quarter this year ebbed in the third quarter, according to the The Anti-Phishing Working Group’s (APWG) new Phishing Activity Trends Report. But APWG warns that phishing attacks tend to ramp up during the holidays, however.
The total number of phishing websites detected in the third quarter of 2016 was 364,424, compared with 466,065 in the second quarter — a decline of 25 percent.
“In August and September MarkMonitor detected a significant dip in phishing URLs following record highs in April through July. Volume in the third quarter was comparable with volumes detected over the same period last year.”
Stefanie Ellis, AntiFraud Product Marketing Manager at MarkMonitor and an APWG contributor said, “In August and September MarkMonitor detected a significant dip in phishing URLs following record highs in April through July. Volume in the third quarter was comparable with volumes detected over the same period last year.”
Ramps up during the holidays
APWG Senior Research Fellow Greg Aaron observed: “Phishing traditionally ramps up again during the holiday season. We urge online consumers to be alert, and to be careful clicking on links found in emails. When in doubt, type in the name of the site that you wish to visit.”
The report also reveals that the Retail/Service sector,which includes music and e-commerce sites, was the most-attacked, suffering 43 percent of all phishing attacks in the third quarter. Attacks against the Financial sector (composed mainly of banks) increased from 16 percent in Q2 to 21 percent in Q3.
In malware news, the country with the worst malware infection rate was China, where 47 percent of machines were infected. Scandinavian countries Norway, Finland, and Sweden had the lowest infection rates.