March 4, 2005, 12:00 AM

E-mail phishing attacks rise 42% in January over December

The number of new e-mail phishing attacks, which use stolen brands of legitimate web sites to persuade consumers to reveal personal account information, rose to nearly 13,000 in January, up 42% from December, the Anti-Phishing Working Group reports.

The number of new e-mail phishing attacks, which use stolen brands of legitimate web sites to persuade consumers to reveal personal account information and passwords, rose to nearly 13,000 in January, up 42% from December, the Anti-Phishing Working Group reports.

The Anti-Phishing Working Group notes that up to 5% of consumers who receive phishing e-mails click to fraudulent web sites and reveal information such as credit card account numbers and passwords. “As a result of these scams, an increasing number of consumers are suffering credit card fraud, identify theft and financial loss,” the Anti-Phishing Working Group says in its Phishing Activity Trends Report for January, which it released last week.

Retailers accounted for 6% of the brands hijacked in January, the same percentage as in December and November, the report says. Financial services firms accounted for the most hijacked brands last month, at 80%, followed by Internet service providers, at 11%, the report says.

The report notes that phishers hijacked 64 brands last month and used 2,560 fraudulent web sites, up 47% from 1,740 sites in December.

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