It may be a new year but we can be sure that phishing will again be upon us. So far in the first two days of 2017 we have seen the usual suspects being targeted, Apple, PayPal, Amazon, Scotia Bank, ANZ, HSBC, Facebook, the list of targeted phishing is endless….
Phishing first came to light more than a decade ago – and really took hold 2001 – 2003. After the world dealt with the Y2K mania – phishing was the new super bug.
We old folk at iZOOlogic remember bank’s taking out adverts in newspapers and other print media to warn their customers of phishing attacks. This scholarly endeavor was to try and educate their customer base to this new and emerging risk. Actually, last year in one our African markets – we saw the same strategy, a local bank warning their customers against phishing in print media.
We are not actually sold on the idea that educating the customer bases is a fool proof method of phishing protection. Bank’s these days would hardly every advertise the fact that they are the target of phishing in third party media.
According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group and looking into our own records, we can definitely say that 2016 provide some historical highs in phishing volumes and sophistication. Q3 2016 provided a wave of phishing activity, one of the highest quarters in volume, since records began as they say.
If the current phishing trend continues 2017 will shape up to be another big year in terms of phishing volume. Organisations should also consider the level of sophistication with the emerging phishing attacks. Phishing kits and templates that we have observed come with a complete arsenal of tools that the criminal can hook into to develop effective phishing campaigns. Gone are the simple spelling mistake and obvious back end mechanism – welcome to the world of phishing in 2017.