Although phishing attacks were down worldwide in the second half of 2011, they were up significantly inside China and, as a result, a Chinese domain name replaced Paypal.com as the most commonly phished domain name.
The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) recently published its 2011 Global Phishing Survey (PDF download), which says that phishing attacks “exploded” in China last year. In the process, the Chinese e-commerce site Taobao.com became the world’s most frequent phishing target in the second half of the year — a “title” that Paypal had held for several years. From the report:
In the first half of 2011, PayPal was still the number one target, attacked more than twice as often as Taobao.com, the world’s second-most-frequent target. But through the second half of 2011, Taobao.com was attacked more than twice as much as PayPal. In 2H2011 there were 18,508 attacks against Taobao.com — 22% of all the phishing attacks recorded worldwide. The flip is also due to a precipitous drop in attacks against PayPal, which dropped from 34,209 attacks in 1H2011 to just 7,169 in 2H2011.
The APWG study also looked at which top-level domains (TLDs) were used most often in phishing attacks. Using a phishing-attacks-per-domain formula which scores the number of attacks in relation to the total number of domains registered in any TLD, the study found that Tokelau’s .TK domain was the top phishing domain, followed by India’s .IN and Thailand’s .TH.
Overall, the study reveals that phishing attacks declined in the second half of 2011. The APWG says there were about 83,000 unique phishing attacks worldwide, down from more than 112,000 in the first half of last year.
(tip via Return Path)