The number of worldwide phishing attacks continues to grow, having reached an all-time high of 255,065 unique attacks in 2016, according to the Anti-Phishing Working Group’s (APWG) annual report, “Global Phishing Survey: Trends and Domain Name Use in 2016,” published this summer.
Why is this important to IP professionals? For those that manage domain portfolios or monitor domain registrations, this is an important issue to understand because you have a role to play in defending your company or your clients from these attacks.
This wasn’t always the case. Over the past 10 years that the APWG has been publishing these reports, most phishing attacks have originated from compromised Web sites that had been hacked and used to execute these campaigns. However, the most recent data show that we’re experiencing an important new trend: the use of malicious domain registrations to conduct phishing attacks is growing rapidly. As recently as 2012, phishing attacks from maliciously registered domain names comprised less than 9% of all phishing attacks worldwide. In 2016, nearly half of all phishing attacks originated from malicious registrations.
It’s never been more important to monitor the domain space for new registrations because there is more at risk than just trademark infringement.
Among the many noteworthy observations in the report, here are a few that stand out:
- More than 50% of malicious registrations were made by Chinese phishers, and of the top 10 registrars for these domains, six are located in China. While domain registrations need to be tracked across all registrars, this suggests that specific registrars should be viewed as higher risk when investigating potential issues.
- Domain names are often left unused for an extended period of time before becoming active.This means that it’s important to incorporate a strategy for monitoring domain names for activation and use, even if they appear non-threatening upon first review.
- Phishing in the new gTLDs is on the rise, with 228 of those TLDs containing phishing attacks in 2016.This highlights the importance of watching domain registrations across all TLDs, not just legacy gTLDs.
As you can see, it’s more important than ever to have effective, reliable tools to protect your domain portfolio and your customers. Corsearch Domain Vigilance can help you to identify malicious domain registrations, collect evidence of usage and then automatically monitor those names on an ongoing basis so you will always have a clear picture of the threats to your reputation or potential trademark conflicts. To learn more about Corsearch Domain Vigilance and other Corsearch domain management products and services, click here.