The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) reported that during the 4th quarter of 2014 a record number of crime ware variants were detected in its recently published Phishing Activity Trends Report.
The APWG, founded in 2003, is the global industry law enforcement and government coalition, focused on unifying the global response to electronic crime. Membership is open to qualified financial institutions, online retailers, ISPs and telcos, the law enforcement community, solutions providers, multi-lateral treaty organizations, research centers, trade associations and government agencies.
Considering that retailers are expected to be one of the driving forces in the adoption and spread of IoT technologies, using sensors, analytics and information, to create intelligent, automated solutions, the more it is important for marketers to get deeper insights into customer behavior to be able to provide better customer experiences that are personalized and live up to customer expectations. Hence, APWG’s report is released just in time, putting even more pressure on the industry which knows that every missed engagement opportunity is a gift to a competitor.
Meanwhile, phishers increasingly targeted retail and service sites, hoping to take advantage of the burgeoning numbers of online shoppers with an overwhelming proliferation of variations designed to defeat antivirus software.
Cyber-criminals’ crimeware infects one-third of computers worldwide
During the 4th quarter of 2014 the number of malware variants figure broke a new record, with 23,500,000 malware samples detected - an average of 255,000 new threats each day, which is up 59% from 160,000 samples per day in the second quarter of 2014, according to Trends Report contributor PandaLabs.
According to Luis Corrons, PandaLabs Technical Director and Trends Report contributing analyst, never in the history of computer security has the amount of new malware created been so high. The great majority of these malware strains are variants of existing malware, modified by their creators to evade antivirus software used by Internet consumers. The escalating numbers illustrate the adaptability of the code and the creativity of the malware authors in extending the polymorphic obscuration scheme to such a degree. About one-third of computers worldwide are probably infected with malware of some sort, he estimates.
Retail/Service was the most-targeted industry sector in the fourth quarter of 2014, representing 29.37% of phishing sites and not surprisingly during the holiday season. Payment Services continued to be popular targets, with 25.13% of attacks during the three-month period, according to APWG member Internet Identity.
“The final quarter of 2014 also witnessed a raft of email-based phishing attempts against well-established financial institutions, possibly timed to coincide with both the holiday spending increase and heightened consumer fears in the wake of corporate security breaches,” said Carl Leonard, Principal Security Analyst, and Websense Security Labs.