According to Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) statistics presented in the December 8, 2004 issue of the World Trademark Report, the number of active "phishing sites" reported for October 2004 was 1,142 with an average growth rate in located phishing sites between July 2004 and October 2004 of 25%. The statistics reveal that the number of brands hijacked by phishing campaigns in October numbered 44. Some 73% of these were banking institutions, 14% net service forms, 7% retailers and 7% miscellaneous. The average site of a phisher is online for only 6 days.
In light of these figures, Darren Olivier (of Field Fisher Waterhouse in London) suggests that mark owners take the following course of action:
- get organized so that action can be taken quickly when required;
- consult a lawyer and the police;
- continually monitor the Internet for domain names, brands and company names using one of the commercially-available monitoring systems;
- use investigator services to get a better feel for the scope of the problem;
- warn and educate customers;
- register all distinctive signs including logos as trademarks in appropriate classes;
- share knowledge;
- report the crime; and
- persuade authorities to take action.
More phishing news here.