Record 2.9 million people in Japan led to fake websites in first half of 2018 as phishing attacks spike: report

Kyodo

According to a report by a major internet security firm, in the first half of this year a record 2.9 million people in Japan were directed through phishing emails to fake websites created to steal sensitive information.

The report by Trend Micro Inc. released Monday said such fraudulent attempts are increasingly aimed at stealing accounts used for shopping, communication and other services with major firms such as Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Rakuten Inc. and Line Corp.

Trend Micro has kept records of how many times it has blocked its product users’ access to fake websites since 2014. The previous record was 1.36 million in the second half of that year.

The figure had been hovering around 1 million since then, but suddenly rose almost threefold in the January-June period this year compared with the second half of last year, according to the company.

It also reported 27 cases of massive attacks using phishing emails and said website links in 13 of these cases tried to make users enter credit card information and enable the takeover of personal accounts.

Such accounts are often tied to personal information and can be used with many services.

“If people receive emails that call for entering credit card or account information, they should check once again to make sure if they are authentic,” said Katsuyuki Okamoto of Trend Micro.