More than 1900 new potential bank phishing sites were registered in the first half of 2019, according to researchers at NormShield. Based on the increase in new suspicious domains compared to the same period last year, the researchers predict there will be over 3,500 more active bank phishing domains by the end of 2019.
Not all of the sites are currently active, but their addresses are similar enough to URLs used by banks that NormShield concluded they were lying in wait to be used in future attacks.
The NormShield researchers found that the number of potential bank phishing domains that were certified by registrars has more than doubled compared to H1 2018. Additionally, the number of suspicious domains possessing a valid SSL or TLS certificate has risen to 15%, up from 8.5% last year. The researchers say this trend was expected.
“Every year, hackers improve their techniques and become more intelligent,” the report says. “It is no surprise to see the increase in the number of potential phishing domains with valid certificates.”
43% of the suspected phishing domains are targeting European banks. 31% are spoofing financial institutions in Asia, and 23% are going after banks in North America.
Sophisticated attackers plan their phishing campaigns far in advance to maximize their effectiveness, and their attacks are growing more convincing. Organizations around the world can benefit from new-school security awareness training to help their employees fend off these attacks.