January marked a record high for phishing attacks, seeing a 21 per cent increase over the month before, according to the latest figures from security vendor RSA.
The firm's monthly Online Fraud Report (PDF) showed that recorded phishing attacks reached 18,820, more than double the figure a year ago.
Fast-flux attacks, in which phishing and malware delivery sites are hidden behind a constantly changing network of compromised host PCs, accounted for 24 per cent of phishing incidents in January, up four per cent on December.
Standard phishing attacks, meanwhile, showed a 12 per cent increase compared with December.
The number of attacked brands climbed by just two per cent compared to December, but 35 new organisations suffered their first attack in January, more than triple the number reported in December.
The UK hosted fewer attacks during the month, down from 15 per cent to five per cent, according to the report.
RSA also highlighted a growing trend of phishing attacks against colleges and universities. The attacks were disguised as the online portals or webmail services of US higher education institutions.
"Compromised webmail accounts may give phishers another foothold in students' personal computers, since spam emails, compared with other unsolicited email content, would gain credibility when coming from peers, especially if sent from a university webmail address," the report warned.
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