New figures from Panda Security's anti-malware laboratory underscore how much cyber-crooks are looking to use the reputations of legitimate companies to fool victims.
According to Panda, 57,000 new Websites are created each week to exploit 375 high-profile brand names worldwide. The statistics are based on a three-month investigation by PandaLabs. Notably, eBay and Western Union-related URLs make up 44 percent of the malicious sites, the company found. Vista, Amazon, Bank of America and PayPal were heavily targeted as well.
Here is the list of the 10 brands hardest hit by scammers as reported by PandaLabs:
1. eBay - 23.21 percent
2. Western Union - 21.15 percent
3. Visa - 9.51 percent
4. United Services Automobile Association - 6.85 percent
5. HSBC - 5.98
6. Amazon - 2.42 percent
7. Bank of America - 2.29 percent
8. PayPal - 1.77 percent
9. Internal Revenue Service - 1.69 percent
10. Bendigo Bank - 1.38 percent
In terms of verticals, banks make up the majority of fake sites, representing 65 percent of the total, according to the company. Other financial institutions, such as investment funds and stockbrokers, and government organizations encompass 2.3 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively. Payment platforms such as PayPal as well as Internet service providers are in fifth and sixth place, respectively.