In 2011, approximately one in every 300 emails circulating the web was deemed to contain elements pointing to phishing. Most phishing content targeted the public sector, which was followed by the SME business sector. A majority of these were targeted phishing attacks aimed at leveraging known brands in fake emails that attempt to fool email recipients.
In its October Fraud report, RSA had estimated that the worldwide losses from phishing attacks alone amounted to over $520 million during H1 2011. The number of phishing attacks identified by RSA in September increased by 45%, setting a new all-time high of 38,970 attacks. This increase was largely attributed to repeated attacks on a handful of large financial institutions which have been heavily targeted throughout the past few months (Source: October 2011 AFCC report).