Significant increase in phishing attacks last year

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Last year the average amount of spam per e-mail account decreased to 56.63%, slightly lower than a year before. At the same time, however, phishing attacks have intensified, a Kaspersky Lab report shows, cited by business news portal vg.hu.

Phishing attacks - attempts to obtain sensitive information or private data through fake websites - saw a 59% increase compared to the previous 12 months, said Kaspersky Lab in its “Spam and Phishing 2017” analysis.

Spammers took advantage of the bitcoin surge at the end of the year by fooling unsuspecting recipients with get-rich-quick offers to steal their money or personal information. The report was based on attacks detected in 2017 by the Kaspersky Lab Anti-Phishing system, triggered last year 246,231,645 times on usersʼ computers.

Spam accounted for 56.63% of e-mail traffic, dropping by 1.68% compared with 2016. More spam emanated from the U.S. (13.21%) than any other country, followed by China (11.25%) and Vietnam (9.85%). Others in the top 10 include India, Germany, Russia, Brazil, France and Italy.

Closely watched events such as the FIFA World Cup 2018 inspired phishing attacks casting a wide net on soccer fans. The report cites spammers who actively spread fraudulent e-mails with official logos of the event, including organizer and sponsor brand information, and notify future victims about lottery wins and free tickets.

Kaspersky is also seeing spam letters under the guise of utilities for earning Bitcoins as bait, instructions for cryptocurrency trading, and offers for cryptolockers that result in Bitcoin ransom demands.

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