Phishing Attacks Increasingly Focus on Social Networks, Studies Show
Three different studies find that financial services account for the greatest phishing attack volume, but email and social networks are more successfully compromised.An analysis of three studies of phishing attacks—each focusing on different data sets—has suggested that online fraudsters are increasingly attacking social network and email services because they offer the best prospects for success. In a survey of some 9,000 software programs and scripts used for phishing published on June 25, security firm PhishLabs found that—while the brands of financial companies and e-payment services continued to be the most popular targets—social networking brands and email services were the focus of more than a third of phishing kits. The trend was evident in data collected by antivirus firm Kasperksy Lab as well. In the firm's quarterly spam report, the Russian security firm found that email search and social networks accounted for 61 percent of the brands targeted by blocked phishing attacks. While the phishing attacks that use fake social media sites and email services are not as sophisticated as those targeting the users of financial site, victims tend to be less concerned about their social media credentials, Don Jackson, director of threat intelligence for PhishLabs, told eWEEK.
"The quality is lower, there are more typos, and more rough edges, so they are a little easier to spot," he said. "But phishing is a big danger for people using social networks, because they don't have their shields up like with other types of phishing."