Half of 2016’s phishing attacks aimed to steal money

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Almost half (47.48 percent) of all phishing attacks in 2016 were aimed at stealing victim's money, and the amount of financial phishing attacks increased by 13.14 percent according to a new report.

The study by Kaspersky Lab analyzed attacks registered in 2016 by the company's heuristic detection technologies.

Kaspersky's anti-phishing technologies detected almost 155 million user attempts to visit different kinds of phishing pages last year. Of those, almost half of detections were attempts to visit a financial phishing page, where the aim was to obtain valuable personal information from users -- such as their account numbers for banking, credit accounts, social security numbers, and the login and passwords they use to access online banking.

Around one in four (25.76 percent) attacks used fake online banking information, or other content related to banks -- a result that is 8.31 percent higher than in 2015. The share of phishing related to payment systems and e-shops accounted for 11.55 percent and 10.14 percent respectively, an increase of 3.75 percent and 1.09 percent over 2015. The share of financial phishing detected on macOS computers was 31.38 percent.

"Financial phishing has always been one of the easiest ways for cybercriminals to earn illegal money," says Nadezhda Demidova, senior web content analyst at Kaspersky Lab. "You don't have to be a skilled programmer, and you don't have to invest lots of money into supporting infrastructure. Of course, most phishing schemes are easy to recognize and avoid, but judging by what we see in our statistics, lots of people are still not cautious enough when it comes to dealing with financial data online. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have seen so many attacks in 2016."

Kaspersky recommends consumers keep themselves safe by verifying the legitimacy of websites and emails, and not clicking on links if they are in any doubt whether they are genuine.

You can find more about the study's findings on the Kaspersky SecureList blog.

Photo credit: wk1003mike / Shutterstock

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