Figures released at the Infosec show by RSA Security indicate that phishers are moving away from targeting UK and US banks and are shifting to overseas markets, sometimes using local criminal knowledge.
According to RSA's Anti-fraud Command Centre over 40 per cent of phishing emails are not in English and this type of target may soon be in the majority. The top targets currently are the US and Britain followed by Canada and Australia.
Attacks on banks in Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands are all increasing sharply, however, and at least one attack has been detected solely in the northern Spanish dialect of Catalan.
"Fraudsters are essentially crooked entrepreneurs looking for the greatest return for the smallest investment, and financial institutions in relatively untapped markets with users unfamiliar with phishing attacks are an attractive target," said Andrew Moloney, senior product manager at RSA Consumer Solutions.
"Banks and customers who have been fortunate enough to avoid attracting the attention of fraudsters so far now need to be on their guard."
RSA has also learned that local criminal gangs are contacting phishers to set up joint raids, combining local knowledge and the latest phishing techniques.
"From what we're seeing in our labs this is definitely the case," said Greg Day, security analyst at McAfee. "It's all to do with how developed internet banking is in a particular country."
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