Feeds

Phishing goes international

The lingua franca of fraud

The essential guide to IT transformation

Infosec The number of phishing attacks targeting non-English speaking financial institutions is on the rise.

Attacks targeting countries outside the English-speaking world now represents almost 40 per cent of worldwide phishing targets, according to data processed by RSA Security's Anti-Fraud Command Centre. RSA said it has shut down more than 10,000 phishing attacks hosted in 70 different countries.

The primary phishing targets worldwide still remain English speaking countries such as the US and the UK, followed by Australia and Canada. The United States alone accounts for approximately half of fraudulent email attacks. Over the last six months or so there's been an upswing in attacks targeting European countries, including Spain, Germany and Italy, as well as the Netherlands, Scandinavia and France.

Emails are even being sent in local languages, such as Catalan, with fraudulent websites designed to circumvent protection mechanisms such as scratch cards with random access codes, or lists of one time transaction access numbers held by the bank's customers.

RSA says the trend is down to a combination of factors including an increase in the number of online banking users in Europe and Asia Pacific, banks offering increased functionality as part of online services, and heightened sophistication on the part of hackers. Phishers have already begun targeting smaller financial institutions. Lately, email fraudsters have widened their net still further by moving across borders and expanding their global reach.

Postings in online fraudster communities suggest a recent surge in demand for compromised credentials, referring to the users of various European banks. Crooks often seek to make it more difficult to take down fraudulent websites by hosting them in countries outside the region being targeted.

The origin of phishing attacks varies widely. Less than half the phishing attacks against UK punters originate in the US, with 20 per cent coming from Korea, seven per cent from Germany, and four per cent from the UK. In Spain, 37 per cent of phishing attacks are instigated in the US, 20 per cent in Germany, seven per cent in Korea, and five per cent in Japan.

RSA Consumer Solutions senior product manager Andrew Moloney said: "Crooks are looking for the next tier down with targeted attacks in specific languages. Fraudsters are essentially crooked entrepreneurs; they are constantly looking for the greatest return for the smallest investment, and financial institutions in relatively untapped markets with users unfamiliar with phishing attacks are an attractive target. Banks and customers who have been fortunate enough to avoid attracting the attention of the fraudsters so far now need to be on their guard and take preventative, proactive measures wherever possible." ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
KER-CHING! CryptoWall ransomware scam rakes in $1 MEEELLION
Anatomy of the net's most destructive ransomware threat
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.