Social networking sites have become the target No. 1 for cybercriminals, with phishing attacks on these sites registering an increase of 13 percentage points to 30 per cent in November over the previous month.

Phishing is done by using similar-looking websites and emails, enticing the users to reveal personal information. This information is sold by cyber criminals in the cyber underworld.

Online stores, with a share of 13 per cent, fell to third place this month from the first place. The share of phishing attacks targeting financial and e-payment organisations decreased by 3 percentage points in November, but this category remains firmly in second place with 20 per cent share in the overall attacks.

“Search engines continue to be targeted less frequently (down by 5.4 percentage points) and fell to the fourth position from the third. The search engines most frequently targeted by phishers were Google and Yahoo,” Tatyana Shcherbakova, a spam analyst at Internet security solutions firm Kaspersky Lab, said.

“As expected, Christmas-themed spam has surged. In December, advertisements for various goods and services related to the holidays will continue to increase, while the amount of image spam will also be on the rise,” she said.’

The share of spam in mail traffic fell sharply in November to 62.9 per cent, a decrease of over five percentage points over October’s figure.

kurmanath.kanchi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 26, 2012)
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