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Phishers are targeting smaller financial services companies, and the number of unique phishing e-mail messages and websites supporting the attacks have increased, an industry and law enforcement group said Thursday.
In addition, phishers are using more advanced software to commandeer larger arrays of Internet technologies, the Anti-Phishing Working Group said.
In expanding their operations, phishers have targeted smaller banks, which may not be as prepared as the larger financial institutions.
"(The latest trend) could mean the counter-phishing systems that big banks have deployed are effective and the phishers are moving onto softer targets," APWG Chairman David Jevans said in a statement.
In January, the APWG reported receiving 12,845 unique phishing e-mail messages, a 42 percent increase over December. The number of websites supporting the attacks rose 47 percent to 2,560 from 1,740 in the previous month.
Phishers use e-mails disguised as coming from a legitimate bank to lure consumers to a website where they are asked to input personal information, such as account numbers, passwords and social security numbers.