- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 14, 2006

Not to really disparage local environmental efforts, but there’s something worse than pulling a bad fluke from local waters:

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) reported today that the number of brands hijacked by phishers leapt to a record high of 154, up 20 percent from the previous month and more than 12 percent from the previous high.

APWG Chairman Dave Jevans said upon release of the report, “Criminals are spoofing the brands of smaller financial institutions, ISPs and even government agencies in an attempt to steal consumers’ identity information and account passwords. Combined with ever increasing technical sophistication, the fact is that nobody is immune from possible attack.”

The APWG’s July report showed a drop in the number of reported phishing campaigns from 28,571 to 23,670, a substantial decrease, but still far above the mean of the previous 12 months. At the same time, however, the number of new phishing sites reported rose to a record 14,191, more than 18 percent higher than the previous high.

Dan Hubbard, vice president of security research for Websense, Inc. said, “In a year, the number of brands has more than doubled, illustrating that online criminals are simply not settling for the large, popular organizations and financial institutions. The increase in the complexity of attacks goes hand in hand with the massive growth in phishing websites and the targeted, broad selection of brands that has followed.”

The full report is available at: https://www.antiphishing.org/reports/apwg_report_july_2006.pdf

Read it and reap: Check EVERY e-mail that comes in and if it looks suspicious, forward it to “[email protected]” whatever the organization claims to be. I get to do this with eBay and PayPal at least once a week for each; sometimes more. I automatically delete those from the Left- Handed East Texas Teachers Federal Credit Union since I am neither left-handed, a Texan or a teacher. But the attempts to get my personal information seem unrelenting — and so do those aimed at you, I’ll wager. Vigilance, vigilance — it’s the only thing that’s going to protect you.

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