The United States leads the world in phishing sites, according to new results from PhishTank. The group has just released its statistics from October, and they indicate that the US hosted 24 percent of all phishing sites in the world last month. South Korea was next with 14 percent, and India came in third with eight percent.
PhishTank is a service of openDNS, and it works by allowing users to suggest potential problem sites. These sites are then voted on by users, who can indicate whether a site is phishing for data or not. In October, more than 7,000 sites were submitted and 3,678 were “verified as valid.” PhishTank notes, however, that more than 2,500 sites went off line before anyone could vote on them, which indicates that there were actually more phishing sites in (brief) existence than the numbers show.
It comes as no surprise to anyone with an e-mail account that PayPal and eBay topped the list of targets. The other eight firms in the top 10 were all banks. One of these, the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken, has a truly wonderful name that I would love to see on a credit card (self to confused grocery store clerk, in bad German accent: “Entschuldigung, bitte, but vill you accept my Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken Visakarte?” Clerk: “Um…”).
Data source: PhishFarm.com
Although the US had the most overall sites, the single largest host for phishing sites was Hanaro Telecom, a South Korean company that “flourishes to become your lifetime communication partner,” according to its website.
Phishing has become a worldwide scourge, bad enough that IE7, Opera, and FireFox now include optional phishing filters directly in the browser. As users upgrade to the new versions, some phishing attacks are likely to be thwarted. But with so much money at stake, you can bet the problem won’t disappear anytime soon.