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Kaspersky Lab Study: About One Third of All Phishing Attacks Aimed at Online Financial Institutions

Kaspersky Lab today released results from the study, Financial Cyber Threats in 2013, which found that about one third (31.45 percent) of phishing attacks targeted online financial institutions including, banks, online stores and e-payment systems. Of those financial phishing attacks, 70.6 percent used fake bank webpages to acquire confidential user information and steal money from bank accounts, showing the strong trend of cyber criminals exploiting online financial services.

Phishing is a fraudulent scheme used by cybercriminals to obtain confidential consumer data with the help of fake webpages imitating Internet resources. According to the study, in 2013 alone Kaspersky Lab products protected about 39.6 million users from this cyber threat, an increase of 2.32 percent from 2012.

Phishing sites aimed at stealing consumers personal financial data mainly use the brand names of popular banking services. In 2013, the most popular phishing attacks used fake bank websites, which were involved in twice as many attacks in 2013 as they were in 2012. Within the 70.6 percent of phishing attacks using banks in 2013, about 60 percent exploited the names of just 25 organizations.

In addition, cybercriminals use the brand names of major companies with large client databases as a way to easily lure consumers to a fake website. Among attacks on e-payment systems, almost 90 percent of phishing attacks in this category fell on one of five international brands: PayPal, American Express, MasterCard International, Visa or Western Union. PayPal was the leading brand exploited, as the amount of attacks on this system reached 44.12 percent.

The report also shows how cybercriminals exploit the names of online stores in phishing scams. For several years in a row, has been the most popular - over the reported period, Amazon was used in 61 percent of phishing attacks in this category. Other brands that were used, included Apple (12.89 percent) and eBay (12 percent).

The standard anti-phishing features in Kaspersky Lab security solutions for home users and small businesses are supplemented with Safe Money technology that protects user data during online banking or payment sessions. The effectiveness of this technology is confirmed by special trials carried out by independent test labs such as AV-TEST, MRG Effitas and Matousec.

The ‘Financial Cyber Threats in 2013’ report used data obtained voluntarily from Kaspersky Security Network participants. Kaspersky Security Network is a globally distributed cloud-based infrastructure designed to quickly process depersonalized data about threats which users of Kaspersky Lab’s products encounter. Statistics about phishing attacks were obtained based on Kaspersky Lab web anti-phishing detections.


Sergey Lozhkin, Senior Security Researcher

Kaspersky Lab

“Phishing attacks are so popular because they are simple to deploy and extremely effective. It is often not easy for even advanced Internet users to distinguish a well-designed fraudulent site from a legitimate page, which makes it even more important to install a specialized protection solution. In addition, phishing causes reputational and financial damage to organizations that see their brands exploited in phishing attacks.”

About Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab is the world’s largest privately held vendor of endpoint protection solutions. The company is ranked among the world’s top four vendors of security solutions for endpoint users*. Throughout its more than 16-year history Kaspersky Lab has remained an innovator in IT security and provides effective digital security solutions for large enterprises, SMBs and consumers. Kaspersky Lab, with its holding company registered in the United Kingdom, currently operates in almost 200 countries and territories across the globe, providing protection for over 300 million users worldwide. Learn more at

* The company was rated fourth in the IDC rating Worldwide Endpoint Security Revenue by Vendor, 2011. The rating was published in the IDC report "Worldwide Endpoint Security 2012–2016 Forecast and 2011 Vendor Shares (IDC #235930, July 2012). The report ranked software vendors according to earnings from sales of endpoint security solutions in 2011.

For the latest in-depth information on security threat issues and trends, please visit:

Securelist | Information about Viruses, Hackers and Spam

Follow @Securelist on Twitter

Threatpost | The First Stop for Security News

Follow @Threatpost on Twitter

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