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APWG Report: Phishers target alternative payment services

APWG Report: Phishers target alternative payment services 

Since APWG began tracking phishing attacks in 2008, an average of 42,793 new phishing attacks per month were detected, dropping slightly from 1Q 2014. Q2 of 2013 saw 639 attacks which is down 17 percent. Spyware and adware, or in short PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs), also increased in Q2 2014.

According to PandaLabs, an APWG member company, PUPs were spread by the proliferation of software bundlers, programs that install PUPs on computers along with the programs that the customer actually installs. Overall, Trojans remained the most common type.

“This indicates a higher concentration of attacks on more vulnerable brands,” said Frederick Felman, CMO, MarkMonitor, and an APWG contributing member, in a press release.

Alternative payment services were most targeted by these attacks. Recently several more types of targets were attacked, which include PayLife – an Austrian cashless payment site, Perfect Money – a similar Hong Kong-based system, and Payoneer, an Internet-based business that allows users to transfer money and receive credit card payments.

“We’re also seeing an uptick in phishing attacks against the users of Bitcoin sites, notably wallet service Blockchain and the exchange site Coinbase,” shared Greg Aaron, President of Illumintel and APWG senior research fellow, in a press release. “The number of attacks against them remains small overall, but we will continue to monitor this as Bitcoin continues to gain adoption by retailers and consumers.”

Although attacks on established providers diminished, attacks on retail/service sites also increased, from 11.5 to 16.5 percent. Phishers spoofed these sites because they collect credit card numbers and other useful credentials from their users.

APWG Secretary General Peter Cassidy explained in a press release, “Account-level cybercrime against consumers and enterprises can damage accounts – but control fraud and investment fraud has the clear potential to damage markets and even economies. Our contributing researchers at this conference are mapping threatscapes that menace commerce and free markets as we know them.”

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