Cyveillance, the world leader in cyber intelligence, announced that Thanksgiving saw a significant spike in phishing threats, with more than a 300 percent jump in attacks compared to the average number of phishing attacks seen in the previous week. This one day spike in the number of phishing attacks is a tactic used by criminals around long holiday weekends, often targeting smaller businesses and credit unions, which may not have around-the-clock security teams to respond to threats that occur during extended weekends.
According to a recent CNN Money Report highlighting Cyveillance’s cyber intelligence expertise, small businesses are frequently at risk for phishing attacks and other brand-related online threats. Therefore, these companies must take a proactive stance in protecting their brand online. Criminals are increasingly targeting small businesses and small credit unions that do not have 24/7 security personnel; allowing phishers to successfully evade detection and prolong the eventual take down of their fraudulent Web sites.
“Cyber criminals continuously look for opportunities to distribute phishing attacks, focusing on situations when consumers are most susceptible,” said Panos Anastassiadis, CEO of Cyveillance. “As seen by the large spike in online attacks over Thanksgiving, online criminals are counting on the hectic holiday season to increase their odds of successfully defrauding consumers and organizations, specifically targeting the most vulnerable security environments.”
In Cyveillance’s recent fraud report, the company identified that phishers continue to heavily focus on the financial services sector, targeting banks and credit unions in nine out of 10 attacks. During the three months ending September 2007, Phishing attacks against companies targeted for the first time increased 20 percent, led by newer blended phishing attacks that combine malicious software (malware) with traditional phishing techniques.
Phishing is a social engineering scam that relies on both technology and human interaction to carry out online fraud and identity theft. The schemes are varied, but typically involve a spoofed (spam) email that mimics an email from a legitimate and respected organization. The email solicits the recipient to click on a link in order to update account information or view a marketing promotion. After clicking on the link, the individual is connected to a fake Web site that requests sensitive personal information (e.g. username and password, credit card number, Social Security number, etc.), or downloads malware that secretly collects personal information from the individual’s computer. These blended phishing attacks that combine spoofed email messages with malware are growing at four times the rate of traditional phishing attacks.
Cyveillance, the world leader in cyber intelligence, provides an intelligence-led approach to security. Through continuous, comprehensive Internet monitoring and sophisticated intelligence analysis, Cyveillance proactively identifies and eliminates threats to information, infrastructure, individuals and their interactions, enabling its customers to preserve their reputation, revenues, and customer trust. Cyveillance serves the Global 2000 and OEM Data Partners Ã¢Â protecting the majority of the Fortune 50, regional financial institutions nationwide, and more than 30 million global consumers through its partnerships with security and service providers that include AOL and Microsoft. For more information, visit www.cyveillance.com.