Australians now the world's biggest phishing targets: Kaspersky Labs

Australia has displaced Brazil, the UK and Canada to become the world's most-targeted country for phishing attacks, according to a Kaspersky Labs analysis of phishing attacks in August.

The result was based on analysis of the 32 million global activations of the anti-phishing component on the computers of Kaspersky Labs' customers, with overall volumes increasing by 62 percent month-on-month and Australia targeted in 24.4 percent of all attacks.

The US was the largest source of spam, while UK-based spam targeted the largest number of users overall. Australia was a relatively small source of spam, accounting for just 2.17 percent of email spam – putting it between Turkey and Malaysia.

Facebook, Google and Yahoo! were the top three organisations attacked by phishers, with fake Facebook notifications continuing to be a popular method of tricking victims into clicking on a malicious attachment – installing a malicious utility contained in a password-protected ZIP archive containing an executable file and unique password.

Global Internet portals were the single largest targets, with 30.81 percent of phishing attempts. Banks (18.35 percent), social networking sites (17.32 percent), online stores (9.97 percent), payment systems (6.87 percent) and telephone and Internet service providers (5.98 percent).

“To keep making money cybercriminals have switched to other types of spam, including phishing scams,” Kaspersky Lab anti-spam analyst Tatyana Shcherbakova said in a statement. “By faking messages from well-known services, social networks or financial organisations, phishers are able to significantly improve the chances of their spam being successful.”

The top three malware varieties for the month included the Haze Trojan-Downloader, which downloads other malware as developed by its authors; Fraud, an HTML-based malware variant that pretends to be an online banking service registration form and sends stolen financial information to downloaders; and Redirector, which directs users to an infected site from which they are typically encouraged to download the Binbot service.

Overall spam volumes increased in the last week of August, ranging from 64.9 percent of all emails at the beginning of the month to 70.4 percent at month's end.

This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.

Tags AustraliaEnex TestLabGoogleFacebooksocial networksonline bankingspamphishing attacksYahookaspersky labsMalaysiaUKcanadaBrazilTurkeyCSO Australiadirectors for CSO AustraliaHaze Trojan-DownloaderBinbotmalware varietiesphishing targetsTatyana Shcherbakova (Kaspersky Lab anti-spam analyst)HTML-based malwarepassword-protected ZIPGlobal Internet portalsfinancial organisationsanti-spam analys

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