Number of phishing sites linked to top Dutch brands up more than 40 per cent

The number of phishing sites that abuse the Netherlands' top brand names for criminal purposes has increased by more than 40 per cent in the last year. That's the central conclusion of a study by SIDN (the Foundation for Internet Domain Registration in the Netherlands). Of all the websites with domain names that look like the top fifty brands, 4 per cent are phishing sites. Last year, the figure was only 2.2 per cent. Not one of the leading brands managed to avoid being targeted by phishing scams.

SIDN's study focused on the top fifty brands in the Netherlands, as listed in the Brand Directory. The Domain Name Surveillance Service (DBS) was used to scan the .nl zone for all the domain names incorporating or closely resembling one of the top fifty brand names. The hits were then classified, e.g. as a redirect to an original domain name, as a normal site or as a phishing site. SIDN identified a total of 964 websites as (very probably) phishing sites. That's more than 40 per cent up on last year's figure of 675.

All top brands abused for phishing

SIDN also analysed the findings to see which industries within the fifty most valuable Dutch brands were associated with the highest phishing levels. They found that 10.5 per cent of the suspicious domain names incorporating the name of an airline pointed to phishing sites. High levels of abuse were also associated with construction companies (9 per cent) and media companies (7 per cent). However, it turned out that financial service providers' names were being abused by criminals less often than a year ago.

Clamping down on internet crime in the .nl zone

"We all have a part to play in fighting and preventing internet crime," said SIDN's CEO Roelof Meijer. "Here at SIDN, we're working hard to do just that. As the manager of the .nl domain, we're committed to doing all we can to make .nl the most secure domain in the world. Our activities give consumers added protection on line and enable brand owners to stop their names being used for malicious purposes. However, we can't tackle the threats on our own. Brand owners also have a responsibility. Our Domain Name Surveillance Service provides the brand owner with a picture of the landscape and enables continuous monitoring for new phishing attempts based on their name. We provide the intelligence that enables businesses to act against fraudsters."

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