Phishing attacks soared in December as cyber criminals looked to capitalise on the higher number of online shoppers in the run up to Christmas, according to new research from managed security firm Network Box released today.
The firm’s analysis of web-based threats in December 2009 shows that just over 57 per cent of all threats were phishing attacks, compared to 28.3 per cent in November.
“The run up to Christmas is traditionally a time for hackers to strike the vulnerable. A higher proportion of shopping is done online, with more money spent than at any other time of year,” warned Network Box internet security analyst Simon Heron.
“Christmas offers rich pickings for phishers. This is likely to continue through the sales in January, and we urge online bargain hunters to be vigilant.”
The firm also found that the greatest source of viruses and spam during the same time period was Brazil, which accounted for 20.9 per cent of all viruses and 9.1 per cent of all spam originated in December. This is up from 14 per cent and eight per cent respectively in November.
Network Box also warned that India is playing an increasingly significant role in the world’s threat landscape, with 6.8 per cent of all spam coming from the sub-continent, up from 4.2 per cent in November; and 4.1 per cent of viruses – the same as in November.