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PayPal Surpassed By Taobao As Most Phished Brand

Taobao.com is one of China's largest e-commerce sites

Prague, Czech Republic. – April 26, 2012 – (BUSINESS WIRE) – A new phishing survey released by the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) at their conference here today reveals that in the second half of 2011, China’s Taobao.com became the world’s most frequently phished brand target, exceeding the previously most-victimized brand, PayPal.

Taobao.com is one of China's largest e-commerce sites, specializing in business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer transactions, similar to eBay and Amazon. For several years, PayPal had been the world’s most frequent phishing target, due to PayPal’s ubiquity and its popularity with consumers. In 2H2011 there were 18,508 phishing attacks against Taobao.com – 22 percent of all the phishing attacks recorded worldwide. There was also drop in attacks against PayPal.

“Attacks by Chinese phishers have exploded, as they take advantage of China’s stream of new Internet users,” said Greg Aaron of Afilias, one of the paper’s co-authors. “But the problem is not limited to China—these phishers use hosting and domain names based in the U.S. and Europe. It’s a reminder that e-crime often requires international solutions. Fortunately there is data-sharing and cooperation happening to combat the problem.”

Globally, for the first time, malicious use of subdomain registration services eclipsed the registration of regular domain names by phishers. There were 17,390 phishing attacks hosted on subdomain services in the second half of 2011, using 16,664 unique subdomains. This was a 38% increase from the 12,574 attacks we recorded in 1H2011.

“This is a clear example of phishers gravitating towards services they can readily abuse,” said Rod Rasmussen, CTO of Internet Identity and the study’s other co-author. “Use of subdomain services is a challenge because only the subdomain providers themselves can effectively mitigate these phish. While many of these services are responsive to complaints, few take proactive measures to keep criminals from abusing their services in the first place.”

Other highlights of the report include:

1. In 2H2011, the average uptimes of all phishing attacks dropped notably.

2. The number of targeted institutions dropped, as phishers concentrated on larger or more popular targets.

3. Malicious domain name registrations are concentrated by domain registrar, and by TLD.

The report is available at http://www.apwg.org/reports/APWG_GlobalPhishingSurvey_2H2011.pdf

About the APWG

The APWG, founded in 2003 as the Anti-Phishing Working Group, is a global industry, law enforcement, and government coalition focused on unifying the global response to electronic crime. Membership is open to qualified financial institutions, online retailers, ISPs, the law enforcement community, solutions providers, multi-lateral treaty organizations, research centers, trade associations and government agencies. There are more than 2,000 companies, government agencies and NGOs participating in the APWG worldwide. The APWG's Web www.apwg.org site offers the public and industry information about phishing and email fraud, including identification and promotion of pragmatic technical solutions that provide immediate protection. The APWG is co-founder and co-manager of the Stop. Think. Connect. Messaging Convention, the global online safety public awareness collaborative www.stopthinkconnect.org and sponsor of the eCrime Researchers Summit, the world’s only peer-reviewed research conference dedicated specifically to electronic crime studies www.ecrimeresearch.org.

Among APWG's corporate sponsors are as follows: Afilias Ltd., AhnLab, AT&T(T), Avast!, AVG Technologies, BBN Technologies, BillMeLater, Bkav, Booz Allen Hamilton, Blue Coat, BrandMail, BrandProtect, Bsecure Technologies, Check Point Software Technologies , Comcast, CSIRTBANELCO, Cyber Defender, Cyveillance, Easy Solutions, eBay/PayPal (EBAY), eCert, EC Cert, ESET, EST Soft, Facebook, Fortinet, FraudWatch International, F-Secure, GlobalSign, GoDaddy, Google, GroupIB, Hauri, HitachiJoHo, Huawei Symantec, Iconix, IID, IronPort, ING Bank , Intuit, IT Matrix, Kindsight, LaCaixa, Lenos Software, MailShell, MarkMonitor, M86Security, McAfee (MFE), Melbourne IT, MessageLevel, Microsoft (MSFT), MicroWorld, Mirapoint, MyPW, Netcraft, Network Solutions, NeuStar, Nominet, Nominum, Panda Software, Phishlabs, Phishme.com, Phorm, Planty.net, Prevx, Proofpoint, Return Path , RSA Security (EMC), RuleSpace ,SAIC (From Science to Solutions), SalesForce, SecureBrain, S21sec, SIDN, SoftForum, SoftLayer, SoftSecurity, SunTrust, SurfControl, Symantec (SYMC), Tagged, TDS Telecom, Telefonica (TEF), TransCreditBank, Trend Micro (TMIC), Vasco (VDSI), VeriSign (VRSN), Websense Inc. (WBSN), Wombat, Yahoo! (YHOO), zvelo and ZYNGA.

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