India sixth most targeted nation by phishing attacks

  • Sanjib Kr Baruah, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 02, 2014 20:30 IST

With 4.08% of the world’s phishing attacks targeting India in 2013, it was the sixth most targeted nation after United States (30.8%), Russia (11.2%), Germany (9.32%), Japan (6.24%) and United Kingdom (5.20%), a report by leading Internet security firm Kaspersky revealed.

A very common cyber crime, Phishing refers to creating fake copies of sites to obtain confidential user data. Common, also because criminals do not need specialised programming knowledge to commit the crime but just shills to create web pages.

A standout feature is the fact that phishing attackers are increasingly focusing on banking internet services.

At 35.4%, most of the attacks mimicked social networking sites while fake banking sites, payment systems, online stores accounted for 31.45% of attacks. Mail services stood third with 23.3% of attacks.

The report says that while 31.45% of all phishing attacks targeted financial institutions, 22.2% of the attacks involved fake bank websites—double than last year.

While 59.5% of banking phishing attacks exploited the names of just 25 international banks, 40.5% used the names of more than 1,000 other banks.

Overall, about 39.6 million users faced phishing attacks, an increase of 2.32% from 2012.

The study used de-personalized data obtained from Kaspersky Security Network, a globally distributed cloud-based infrastructure designed for the real-time processing of data about threats that Kaspersky Lab users encounter.

The findings acquire significance in the backdrop of the growing importance and usage of electronic money aided by the convenience of use and universal accessibility. In many countries, banks and other financial institutions are seriously considering complete discontinuation of cash in favour of cash-free payments.

A 2013 survey conducted by B2B International in cooperation with Kaspersky Lab showed that 98% of those polled say they regularly use online banking or payment systems, or shop online.

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