Phishing attacks see major rise

New research from Kaspersky Lab has revealed that the number of phishing attacks rose by 27.5 per cent to reach over 137m in the third quarter of 2018.

According to the security firm's 'Spam and phishing in Q3 2018' report, 137,382,124 attempts to visit phishing sites were detected, which is more than half of the number of visits recorded during all of 2017.

The fast growth of phishing attacks is a continuation of a trend set earlier this year and these attacks have increased every quarter. 

Of the businesses targeted by cybercriminals, the finance sector was hit especially hard with more than a third of all phishing attacks launched in Q3 aimed at banks, payment systems and e-commerce companies. Last quarter this figure was at 20 per cent and this trend will likely continue throughout 2018.

Expanding operations and adopting new techniques

The country with the highest percentage of users attacked during the third quarter was Guatemala at 19 per cent which lead it to surpass the leader of the previous quarter, Brazil. However, Brazil saw the second highest percentage of users attacked with 18.6 per cent. Third place was taken by Spain with 17.5 per cent of users subjected to phishing attacks.

Security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, Nadezhda Demidova provided further insight on the findings of the report, saying:

“We’ve been witnessing a rise in the number of phishing attempts for a while now. Many factors influence such growth, like fraudsters’ ability to keep coming up with new schemes and tricks. They also borrow the ideas from foreign “colleagues” to use on local markets as means of communication, which further helps their technologies develop. For example, in Q3 they actively directed users to the fraudulent website with transmitters and scam-notifications, as well as by exploiting the new iPhone release as a news hook. As new technological and informational updates appear, phishers begin to exploit them.”

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.