India among top 3 countries targeted by phishing attacks

India among top 3 countries targeted by phishing attacks

RSA, the security division of EMC, in its May Fraud Report said the US accounted for 42.5 per cent of brands targeted by phishing, followed by UK (19 per cent) and India (8 per cent). Worldwide as many as 17,376 attacks were launched in April, a fall of barely 1 per cent as compared to March and the number of brands attacked also dropped by 12 per cent.

However, with nearly identical number of attacks and fall in number of brands attacked, means that even though fewer brands were attacked a larger portion of them suffered a higher number of attacks compared to March.

RSA said in April, 301 brands were targeted by phishing attacks worldwide, out of which eight endured their first phishing attack. According to RSA, the most common way fraudsters operate is to use stolen credit cards to purchase airline tickets, an industry which has lost nearly USD 1.4 billion in 2010 due to online payment fraud.

Another way that is generally used is to secure access to consumers' loyalty and rewards program accounts and cash out available points in exchange for travel vouchers. "RSA has witnessed multiple phishing attacks recently targeting airline customers with the goal of obtaining their login credentials in order to monetise their reward points," the report said.

Vast amount of personal and financial data of airline as well as hospitality industry customers are now being stored online and cyber criminals are taking advantage of this to exploit the industry and its customers, the report added. The US, UK, Germany and Canada hosted over 80 per cent of all phishing attacks in April.

"Since March, 2010, the countries that have consistently hosted the highest portions of phishing attacks have been the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Russia, and South Korea," the report said, adding that over the past year, the US and UK have absorbed a combined average of 65 per cent of the attacks.

Phishing is a way to acquire sensitive information like usernames, passwords and credit card details by posing as a trustworthy entity in an e-communication.

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