Australia becomes the world's biggest phishing target

By GovTechReview Staff
Friday, 03 October, 2014

Government organisations may want to revive their employee email training after new Kaspersky Lab figures suggested that Australia has surpassed Brazil, the UK and Canada to become the country most frequently-targeted by phishers.

Phishing emails use carefully worded messages and files to trick recipients into opening malicious emails or visiting Web sites where they are tricked into submitting financial or other personal details.

Analysis of August figures from Kaspersky Lab found an overall increase in phishing activity during the month, with 62 percent growth to some 32 million detections globally.

Experts explained the growth as a reaction to a decline in advertising spam, which had driven phishers to try other methods to target their victims.

Australia accounted for 24.4 percent of the world's phishing attacks, putting it far ahead of the 19.5 percent share of Brazil and 15.2 percent share of the UK.

Fake Facebook notifications were a common attack vector for phishers, with the most common malicious attachments including the Upatre banking Trojan; Redirector, which steers victims to an infected site that invites them to download the Binbot service; and Fraud, a Web page that poses as an online-banking registration form and steals financial information from users.

Organisations needed to remind users of the constant threat from phishers and ensure they treated incoming emails with appropriate scepticism, experts advised.

“To avoid becoming a victim, remember these simple rules: check the sender address and be particularly careful with messages containing attachments,” anti-spam analyst Tatyana Shcherbakova warned.

“It’s better to contact the company directly than trust an email and lose your personal data.” – David Braue

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