phishing

Phishing Sites – Over 1 Million New Sites Created Monthly

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IT at the Crossroads - More than Just Technology

According to the September 2017 Webroot Quarterly Threat Trends Report, 1.385 million new, unique phishing sites are created each month, with a high of 2.3 million sites created in May. The data; collected by Webroot, a leader in endpoint security, network security, and threat intelligence; show today’s attacks are highly targeted, sophisticated, hard to detect, and difficult for users to avoid. The latest sites employ realistic web pages that are almost impossible to find using web crawlers, and they trick victims into providing personal and business information.

Webroot Quarterly Threat Trends is based on threat intelligence data derived from the industry’s most advanced machine learning techniques, ensuring it’s both timely and accurate.
View the full Quarterly Threat Trends Report: www.webroot.com/trends.

Notable findings and analysis: 

  • Phishing attacks have grown at an unprecedented rate in 2017 – Phishing continues to be one of the most common, widespread security threats faced by both businesses and consumers. It is the number 1 cause of breaches in the world, with an average of more than 46,000 new sites created per day. The sheer volume of new sites makes phishing attacks difficult to defend against for businesses.
  • Today’s phishing attacks continue to be short-lived – The first half of 2017 highlights the continuing trend of very short-lived phishing sites, with the majority being online and active for only 4 to 8 hours. These short-lived sites are designed to evade detection by traditional anti-phishing strategies, such as block lists. Even if the lists are updated hourly, they are generally 3–5 days out of date by the time they’re made available, by which time the sites in question may have already victimized users and disappeared.
  • Attacks are increasingly sophisticated and more adept at fooling the victim – In the past, phishing attacks randomly targeted as many people as possible, with the hope that a substantial amount would open an infected attachment or visit a malicious web page. Today’s phishing is more sophisticated. Hackers do their research and utilize social engineering to uncover relevant personal information for individualized attacks. Phishing sites also hide behind benign domains and obfuscate true URLs, carrying more malignant payloads, and fooling users with realistic impersonated websites.
  • Mix of companies impersonated continues to evolve — Zero-day websites used for phishing may number in the millions each month, yet they tend to impersonate a small number of companies. Webroot categorized URLs by the type of website being impersonated and found that financial institutions and technology companies are the most phished categories. Webroot also identified the top 10 companies being impersonated throughout the first six months of 2017.
    • Google                 35%
    • Chase                  15%
    • Dropbox               13%
    • PayPal                 10%
    • Facebook             7%
    • Apple                    6%
    • Yahoo                   4%
    • Wells Fargo          4%
    • Citi                        3%
    • Adobe                   3%

Industry Landscape:

  • According to an FBI Public Service Announcement from May 4, 2017, phishing scams cost American business $500 million a year.
  • According to Verizon, phishing was found to be at fault in 90 percent of breaches and security incidents.
  • A recent report by ESG showed that 63 percent of surveyed security and network influencers and decision makers have suffered from phishing attacks in the past two years.
  • In the same ESG report, 46 percent of respondents said malware attacks have become more targeted over the past two years, and 45 percent said there is a greater volume of malware than in the past two years.

“Today’s phishing attacks are incredibly sophisticated, with hackers obfuscating malicious URLs, using psychology, and information gleaned from reconnaissance to get you to click on a link.  Even savvy cybersecurity professionals can fall prey. Instead of blaming the victim, the industry needs to embrace a combination of user education and organizational protection with real-time intelligence to stay ahead of the ever-changing threat landscape,” says Webroot Chief Technology Officer Hal Lonas.

Source PR Newswire

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Carlos Casanova is an internationally known speaker, IT architect, leadership advisor and the co-author of “The CMDB Imperative”. He has over two decades of hands on experience guiding CIOs and Sr. Leadership to achieve effective IT operations and improve ROI from infrastructure investments. His expansive experience enables him to quickly assess their true needs and achieve better business outcomes. He takes the complexity out of today's cluttered IT and business environments to simplify their goals in order to accelerate achievement and success.