SAN FRANCISCO -- Cloudmark, the proven leader in real-time messaging security, announced today that its ongoing monitoring of spam and phishing attacks shows a rise in phishing attempts against European institutions. While there appears to be a slight decline in attacks against regularly phished U.S. brands, Cloudmark warns against complacency.
In a report published on the companys website, Cloudmark notes that the overall increase in European threats has been led by attacks on Sparkasse, causing nearly 90% of increased phishing in Germany and growing attacks on Barclays Bank in the UK. A recent report from a government-backed internet security campaign in the U.K. shows that the majority of Britons are generally unaware of phishing attacks, even though 5.5 billion phishing emails are now sent each month.
The new activity in Europe may reflect a general lack of consumer awareness of phishing as a personal threat, and at the same time phishers are becoming more aggressive in their attacks because, as yet, there are fewer phishing-specific solutions deployed in Europe, says Jacinta Tobin, Vice President of Business Development at Cloudmark. During the next six months we could see phishers become even more aggressive with e-commerce brands, as theyve been in the over-fished waters of America, and also increased attacks on mobile users and on enterprises with an eye toward stealing data. On the other hand, were seeing greater interest from service providers in deploying edge solutions that protect their subscribers.
The slight downturn in regularly phished brands in the U.S. is likely more reflective of the cyclicality of phishing threats than any real abatement of the problem. Vipul Ved Prakash, founder and chief scientist at Cloudmark, cautions against complacency.
While phishers may move on as awareness of specific attacks leads to diminishing success, they generally return after a cooling off period, noted Ved Prakash. Our research shows phishers are notoriously efficient business people, cycling quickly through targets to avoid detection and remain effective. Today we believe theyre also more organized and better funded than ever so were cautioning service providers and financial institutions not to assume their problem has been solved because phishers take a break. Our data definitely show that they come back.