Phishing attacks down dramatically in 2010, says IBM

The volume of phishing attacks dropped in 2010 to less than a quarter of what was seen in the previous two years, according to IBM's annual research report on threats and risks. There was still plenty of spam, however.

IBM researchers aren't sure why phishing has waned, though the apprehension of a major Romanian phishing gang last May likely helped, says Tom Cross, a researcher at IBM. Cross says it may be that phishing isn't paying enough and that attackers are shifting their attention to something "more lucrative, such as ATM skimming."

REPORT: Hackers learn new tricks to duck Firefox, Chrome anti-phishing measures

Financial institutions and their customers remained the target of phishing attacks over half the time, according to the report. Other specific attack targets included auctions, online payments and government organizations.

The most popular subject line in a phishing attack, seen about nine per cent of the time, is "Security Alert -- Verification of Your Current Details." One of the weirdest, seen in three per cent of attacks: "Welcome to Very Best Baking!" -- the typo makes the email look like an advertisement for a bakery.

The top countries or origin for phishing URLs are Romania at 18.8 per cent, the United States at 14.6 per cent, China at 11.3 per cent, South Korea at 9.8 per cent and the United Kingdom at 7.2 per cent.

In tracing the origin of phishing emails, IBM research shows India is tops at 15.5 per cent, Russia at 10.4 per cent, Brazil at 7.6 per cent, U.S. at 7.5 per cent and Ukraine at 6.3 per cent. IBM notes that the same four phishing-originating countries still dominate, only their relative positions have shifted slightly in the annual ranking, with Ukraine being a "newcomer" to the "top 10" phishing list for 2010.

Read more about wide area network in Network World's Wide Area Network section.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags IBMsecurityphishing

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ellen Messmer

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?