IID (Internet Identity) released its Third Quarter Phishing Trends Report that revealed phishing attacks through impersonation of e-commerce sites and gaming companies increased significantly year-over-year around the world in the third quarter of 2010. According to IID, instances when cyber criminals used likenesses of e-commerce companies, excluding eBay, to steal critical data from unsuspecting victims, were up 317 percent from July to September 2010 compared to the same time period in 2009. Likewise, phishing attacks impersonating gaming companies were up 347 percent in Q3 2010 compared to Q3 2009.
“Traditionally cyber criminals have capitalized on current events, resulting in an increase in e-commerce phishing attacks leading up to and during the holiday shopping season,” said IID President and CTO Rod Rasmussen. “As the world moves into the highly active online shopping season, we expect to see increases worldwide in e-commerce attacks. In addition, with the online gaming industry generating over $15 billion annually and growing rapidly, it is the kind of target that is hard for criminals to resist.”IID anticipates this increase in phishing attacks targeting e-commerce sites and gaming companies to continue during the fourth quarter of 2010 based on historical trends. For example, from Q3 to Q4 2009, threats targeting e-commerce sites excluding eBay increased 86 percent.