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Global fraudsters tapered off in August says report
BEDFORD, Mass. (9/25/12)--Phishing attacks decreased during 17% in August--mostly at  nationwide banks and smaller regional banks--but not at credit unions, according to RSA's Monthly Online Fraud Report.

Phishing attacks targeting credit unions accounted for 18% of the August attacks, up seven percentage points from 11% in July and up from 10% in June, but down one percentage point from August 2011.

In the U.S. financial sector, nationwide banks experienced a 7% decrease in phishing attacks, but the brands in this segment continued to be the most targeted by phishing attacks--accounting for 67% or more than two out of every three attacks in August, said the report.

The Bedford, Mass.-headquartered security firm, which is a division of EMC Corp., identified 49,488 attacks during August, compared with 59,406 in July. To date, RSA has shut down 721,165 cyber attacks.

Forty-five percent of the attacks in August targeted brands in the U.S., the United Kingdom and Australia. The U.S. hosted 80% of phishing attacks launched during the month.

RSA's report also highlighted risks in the mobile app marketplace, which are increasingly vulnerable to malware and rogue apps, and noted that corporate settings are increasingly at risk from Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policies that allow employees' devices to double as platforms for both personal and work-related communications.

In related news, hackers from Iran may have targeted the U.S.'s three biggest banks as part of broader cyber offensive against the U.S., said Reuters (American Banker Sept. 21).

It noted that Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup have experienced multiple attacks from hackers in Iran since 2011. The denial of service attacks seek to disrupt websites and corporate networks by flooding them with traffic. Some bank customers have experienced delays when they access their banks' websites, said the Banker.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation warned that thieves may be attacking financial firms' websites to steal information for fraudulent use, according to the Banker.

Last Wednesday, the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center raised its alerts from "elevated" to "high"--the first change since July 9, 2009, according to its website.
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