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PayPal users prime target of Phishing attackers

The number of phishing URLs targeting PayPal has increased from approximately 750 a day in fourth quarter of 2013 to more than 1,300 a day in first quarter of this year.

By CBR Staff Writer

According to a report from cloud-based security solutions provider CYREN, PayPal is emerging as prime target for phishing attackers with the number phishing attack targeting PayPal has increased 73%.

The number of phishing URLs targeting PayPal has increased from approximately 750 a day in fourth quarter of 2013 to more than 1,300 a day in first quarter of this year.

Cyber criminals are targeting PayPal to maximise gain from their exploits due its wider acceptance across internet, so that funds can be easily transferred from one account to the other.

During a two-week study during the first quarter of this year, the security researchers found that PayPal was heavily used lure with more than 18,600 phishing URLs.

Other brands which were used by phishing attackers were Apple, Poste Italiane, Barclays Bank, Battle.net and Sparkasse.

Some of the malicious actors also used first lottery scams involving the FIFA World Cup as a lure to trap their victims, with World Cups in 2010 and 2006 being used for almost identical scams.

The researchers witnessed rise of phishing URLs using residential IP address space and personal computers to install and host phishing sites.

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Android malware grew in complexity and included encrypted peer to peer functionality used to track user activity and steal data.

During the study, the researchers also found that spam emails dropped to 54 billion emails per day.

The drop in spam mails could be due lower return per message, a reduction in affiliate revenue from spam, and more profitable attacks like PayPal phishing.

Diet spammers are sending press releases to gain "legitimate" news featured on the Wall Street Journal and Reuters websites, the researchers added.

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