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Phishing attacks mainly target financial sector in 2Q18, says Kaspersky

Kaspersky says 21.1% of the attacks are executed through fake banking pages, 8.17% via online shops and 6.43% through payment systems (Pic by Hussein Shaharuddin/TMR)

By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

Over one-third of all phishing attacks targeted financial sector customers in the second quarter of 2018 (2Q18), according to Kaspersky Lab.

The cyber security and antivirus software provider noted that its anti-phishing technologies prevented over 107 million attempts in 2Q18 and 35.7% of those were related to financial services.

Kaspersky said 21.1% of the attacks were executed through fake banking pages, 8.17% via online shops and 6.43% through payment systems.

These intruders steal data from unaware victims such as name, password, email addresses, phone numbers, credit card number and personal identification number.

“The permanence of attacks targeting financial organisations reflects the fact that more and more people are using electronic payment systems. Still, not all of them are sufficiently aware of the possible risks. So, intruders are actively trying to steal sensitive information through phishing,” Kaspersky lead web content analyst Nadezhda Demidova said in a statement yesterday.

Brazil has the largest share of users attacked by phishers at 15.51%, followed by China and Georgia at 14.44% each, Kirghizstan at 13.6% and Russia at 13.27%.

In addition, there were almost 60,000 fraudulent web-page visit attempts that featured popular cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges from April to June.

Kaspersky said cyber criminals try to force their victims to independently transfer cryptocurrency to them. According to Kaspersky, the free distribution of the cryptocurrency and the exploitation of the names of new initial coin offerings were two tricks commonly used by the crypto phishers.

Kaspersky estimated both tricks have led to a total loss of at least US$2.3 million (RM9.4 million), excluding the loss incurred from classic phishing.

After the financial sector, the information and technology sector was the second-hardest hit with total attacks of 13.8% in 2Q18.

The amount of spam peaked 51% in May. China became the most popular source of spam, overtaking the US and Germany.

The top three countries targeted by malicious mailshots were Germany, Russia and the UK.

Before clicking on anything, Kaspersky advised users to always check the link address and the sender’s email as a precaution.