Phishing attacks against global financial institutions rocketed by 568 per cent between June and the end of October 2004, newly revealed research has found.
UK-based internet monitoring firm Envisional reported that a marked increase in phishing, not only in volume but in the number of banks targeted, has been evident over recent months.
The average number of banks hit on each day in June 2004 was 2.6; by October it was five.
The report revealed that the top 10 targeted banks in October included six of the UK's best-known high street names: Citibank, SunTrust, Barclays, Halifax, Lloyds TSB, HSBC, Smith Barney, Abbey, Citizens Bank and Nationwide.
Ben Coppin, chief operating officer at Envisional, said: "The increase in phishing fraud shows no sign of slowing in the near future, and there is every chance that the trend will continue to rise as we approach the Christmas season.
"This year more people than ever will be Christmas shopping on the internet, and will be using online payment methods to do so.
"Those people who have internet bank accounts will certainly be using them, and many will be carrying out online transactions for the first time. The perpetrators of phishing fraud will no doubt be ready to take advantage of the inexperienced and the unwary."
The statistics are based on Envisional's Spam Trap system which the company said collects and analyses tens of thousands of global spam emails every day.
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