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Phishing attacks doubled in 2018

(Image credit: Image Credit: wk1003mike / Shutterstock)

The number of phishing attacks doubled last year to top 482 million attempts, according to Kaspersky Lab.

The company's latest report revealed the huge rise compared to 236 million phishing attempts recorded the year before, with 2018 indicating a ‘significant surge’, given that previous years usually saw a 15 per cent annual growth.

Most of these attacks went towards the financial sector, with Kaspersky registering 44 per cent of all attacks in that industry. Banks, payment systems and online shops are the most frequent targets.

“This means that there were almost as many financial phishing attacks in 2018 as there were phishing attacks overall in 2017,” it says.

In terms of geography, Brazil remains the country with the highest percentage of users attacked – 28 per cent. Portugal rose from seventh place a year ago, to second place today, with 23 per cent of users. Australia fell to third with 21 per cent.

“The rise in the number of phishing attacks could be influenced by the increased efficiency of social engineering methods used for enticing users to visit fraudulent pages. 2018 was marked by the active exploitation of new schemes and tricks, such as scam-notifications, along with the perfection of old ones, for instance the traditional scams around Black Friday or national holidays. All in all, scammers are becoming better at taking advantage of important occasions happening around the world, like the FIFA world football championship,” said Tatyana Scherbakova, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

Kaspersky’s full report can be found on this link.

Image Credit: wk1003mike / Shutterstock