Phishing activity spiked during the first half of 2011, it has been reported.

According to APWG’s Phishing Activity Trends Report, the propagation of some forms of crimeware surged in the half-year period ending in June.

Data-stealing malware reached and maintained “a new plateau of contagion”, the firm reported.

APWG said data-stealing malware and generic Trojans increased from 36 per cent of malware detected in January to more than 45 per cent in April

The previous high for this metric was 44 per cent, in a one-month spike in August 2010.

Patrik Runald, senior manager of security research, said the first half of 2011 saw an increase in not only the amount of malicious samples received but – more importantly – malware files going after confidential information.

This includes credit card data, social security numbers and credentials to financial websites.

“With cybercrime being an industry generating hundreds of millions of dollars for the bad guys it’s clear that this is a trend we will see for a long time,” he added.

Phishing ‘increased during first half of 2011’
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