Phishing is still one of the biggest threats that users face on the Internet these days. Many security programs and web browsers offer phishing protection, but these only catch known phishing sites which means that users still have to cope with the unknown sites until they are identified by security applications.
What's meant by that is that phishing programs work with a blacklist of sites. Once a site has been identified as a phishing website, it is added to that blacklist which in turn will warn users when they try to open it or even block it outright instead.
Avira published their January 2010 statistics of the most phished brands. This information can be helpful to identify or avoid services that are targeted the most by phishing attacks.
While that is the case, you may still want to be careful regardless of service or brand. If you get links in an email, chat or on websites, make sure you check out the address it links to before you click on it. Or even better, do not click on it but enter the address of the site manually in your browser of choice instead. Check out the phishing flow chart that visualizes how you should handle emails and messages.
Most of the phishing attacks are carried out against financial services and sites. The only non-financial service in the top 16 list is Facebook.
The phishing list is topped by PayPal which was the target of phishing attacks in 61.89% of all cases followed by HSBC Bank with 8.59% and Bank of America with 6.09% of all attacks.
Other companies on the list include eBay, Abbey Bank, Chase Bank, Banco Poste Italiane, Alliance Leicester, Western Union and Citibank.
It is obviously not always possible to switch a company or service based on the phishing statistics. The stats highlight the obvious, that attackers try to get in to financial sites more than any other kind of site.
While that is the case, it is recommended to be cautious when it comes to emails that ask you to click on links, open attachments or perform other actions that seem unusual.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.