Friday appears to be the top choice for phishers to send targeted emails to office workers in an effort to get them to divulge secure information and potentially cash and is firmly fixed in the calendar of IT security firms as ‘Phish Friday.’
“Phishers have calculated that employees are less on guard on the last day of the working week and more likely to check out a link someone emails to them,” warned EMC Ireland country manager Jason Ward.
According to EMC’s RSA security division, phishers launched 27,463 attacks globally in February – down 9pc on January.
RSA’s anti-fraud command centre in Israel has shut down 776,084 phishing attacks in 187 countries.
One in four phishing attacks in February targeted US regional banks.
The US is the top country in the world for hosting phishers, with 44pc of attacks originating from there followed by the UK, Germany and Canada.
“Spear phishing is on the rise – and cyber-criminals are always seeking new ways to lure people into traps with targeted attempts to steal their credit card details or online banking credentials,” Ward said.
“Phishers prey on trust, so all of us need to be on our guard, especially on Fridays.”
Ward said that because of the rise of social networking, the world has become a phisher’s playground.
Recent figures from the World Bank show that the number of mobile subscriptions in use globally has grown from less than 1bn in 2000 to 6bn now. Facebook claims more than 900m users, Twitter claims more than 500m users who collectively send 400m tweets each day, and YouTube receives more than 800m unique visits each month.
“With the world turning into a smaller and more ‘social’ village, fraudsters are certain to join the party,” Ward said.