The incidents of scam and phishing attacks increased as a percentage of overall spam in January according to a report released by security firm Symantec. The report, which is published monthly, analyzes the number of scam and phishing attacks as a percentage of spam traffic.
Both the increase in 419 Nigerian spam and the disaster in Haiti helped to raise the levels of scam and phishing attacks in January 2010. The rates are at 21 percent of all spam, the highest ever recorded since the reports inception.
Overall spam levels decreased in January despite efforts to take advantage of the Valentine’s Day holiday. Phishing attacks also decreased by 25 percent but are becoming increasingly targeted, using social engineering techniques to dupe victims. Symantec attributes the drop in phishing attacks to a decrease in the volume of phishing toolkit attacks.