Phishing reaches pandemic levels worldwide, hurts businesses

Phishing is easily one of the top threats on the Internet, with its direct and indirect costs taxing the global economy with billions of dollars in fraud losses every year.

“Phishing has reached pandemic levels globally, impacting business and consumers alike, with billions of dollars being lost to Cybercriminals – yet electronic commerce and online banking continues to thrive in nearly every corner of the world,” said Peter Cassidy, Secretary General of the Anti-Phishing Working Group, a non-profit global pan-industrial and law enforcement association.

“Industry and governments are collaborating to combat the threats and are finding innovative ways to successfully leverage technology, intelligence sharing and relationships to identify and take down phishing attacks more rapidly than before which helps suppress their effectiveness and greatly diminish their potential impact,” he added.
The November 2011 data compiled by the Anti-Phishing Working Group showed the number of worldwide phishing attacks in the first half of 2011, at 115,472, is up more than double over the same period last year at 48,244 attacks. Also, it nearly matched the full-year phishing attack totals for 2010.

Despite this, the median phishing site uptime for attacks has decreased by more than 22% year-over-year (from 13 hours, 42 minutes, to 10 hours, 44 minutes).