China / Society

Phishing scams target growing online population

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-12-05 16:54

BEIJING - China's expanding online population has created a fertile environment for thousands of phishing websites that aim to swindle netizens.

Authorities tracked and handled 24,535 phishing websites during the January-November period, according to data from the Anti-Phishing Alliance of China (APAC).

Phishing attacks are generally accomplished through fraudulent websites that appear legitimate by using addresses or login pages that appear similar to legitimate websites.

Users who are tricked by the sites' appearance are then convinced to part with private information, such as bank card numbers and addresses, that can be used to gain access to their bank accounts.

Online payment, financial securities and social communication sites were the most commonly used platforms for the scams, accounting for 94.61 percent of phishing sites, APAC said, adding that a majority of the scams have targeted e-commerce websites.

APAC said it detected a 47-percent month-on-month surge in the number of phishing websites in November after e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, operator of online retailers and, offered massive discounts to celebrate "Single's Day," which falls on November 11.

Turnover on and totalled 19.1 billion yuan ($3.03 billion) on that day.

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