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Over a quarter of phishing attacks target financial data

More than a quarter of all phishing attacks conducted in the past year targeted user's financial data, a recent study shows.

A study called ‘Financial Cyber Threats in 2014’ conducted by Kaspersky Lab observed phishing attacks in 2014 and compared them to similar attacks a year earlier.

The results have shown that 28.8 per cent of attacks last year were intended to steal financial data from users, but have also shown how attackers shifted their attention from banks to online shopping sites and payment systems.

In 16.3 per cent of attacks, cybercriminals used the names of well-known banks, down from 22.2 per cent in 2013.

Visa card owners were the most targeted in the payment systems category, with 31.02 per cent of detections, followed by PayPal as close second with 30.03 per cent.

The names of well-known online shopping sites were used in 7.3 per cent of attacks, up from 6.5 per cent in 2013.

Phishing is a type of Internet fraud that is used by cybercriminals to lure users into providing their data (account logins and passwords and other personal information) by creating fake web pages to imitate popular online resources.

When it comes to online shopping sites, Amazon is still the most attacked site with 31.7 per cent of attacks. However, the attacks are down 29.41 per cent compared to 2013.

Nadezhda Demidova, web content analyst at Kaspersky Lab, says that brands most frequently targeted increased their security, which is why scammers decided to move to new ‘markets’:

“For example, in 2014 we saw a large number of phishing scams based on websites that sell plane tickets. These are targets that used to be seen fairly infrequently in phishing scams,” she said.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.