Phishers Creating More Noise to Fool Defenses
The number of distinct Website links in phishing attacks jumped by more than 150 percent in five months, showing that phishing remains a major vector of compromise, the Anti-Phishing Working Group stated in a report released on May 24.
In March 2016, phishing emails seen by APWG members contained more than 123,000 unique URLs, up from 48,000 in October 2015. While the number of URLs has increased dramatically, the number of domains and the number of brands used as camouflage by phishers have remained relatively constant at about 20,000 and 418, respectively, according to the report.
"Usually, the domain used in an attack is not malicious," Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs and a contributing analyst to the report, told eWEEK. "There will be a Website, and someone, somehow hacks into the site and creates a number of phishing pages inside the domain. That is why it is hard to shut down a phishing site."
The volume of new URLs suggests that attackers are using the quick creation of new links to create a digital shell game, dodging defenses and raising the workload for defenders.
The criminals behind phishing attacks are creating vast numbers of unique Web pages to host their attacks in an attempt to dodge defenses, according to an industry report.
The approach is not surprising: Attackers have often tried to overwhelm defenses with numbers. When anti-spam engines became more successful in blocking unsolicited email messages, spammers started creating more messages and, when defenders adapted, began creating more fake accounts on legitimate email providers.