Paypal No Longer The World’s Top Phishing Target

paypal-logoAlthough 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 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 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, the world’s second-most-frequent target. But through the second half of 2011, was attacked more than twice as much as PayPal. In 2H2011 there were 18,508 attacks against — 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)

Related Topics: Channel: Content Marketing | Domaining | Legal: General | Statistics: General


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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