Phishing Around the World: How Attack Volume Grew in the Last Year

geographic phishing attacks and targetsEarlier this year we released our annual Phishing Trends and Intelligence report, which highlights how the phishing landscape has evolved over the past year.

As usual we identified a number of key shifts in threat actor behaviors. In particular, we noted a substantial shift towards targeting enterprises rather than consumers, as well as a number of changes to the geographic spread of phishing attacks.

When it comes to the geographic spread of attacks, the main headline is simple. In short, the U.S. is still the primary target for phishing attacks, and the share of attacks against US-based targets continues to grow.

Since 2014, when attacks against U.S. targets accounted for 71 percent of total phishing volume, the number of U.S. targeted attacks recorded annually has more than doubled. During 2017, the proportion of phishing attacks against U.S. targets rose to a massive 86 percent. While expected, this continued increase in attack volume against U.S. targets is unsettling, particularly as our research suggests the trend will continue in the coming years.

But while attacks against U.S. targets continued to rise, several countries that saw significant increases in phishing volume during 2016 experienced corresponding decreases in 2017.


Percent of Change (2017)

Percent of Change since 2014










United Arab Emirates



United States






Great Britain









Phishing attacks against Canadian institutions, for example, which grew more than 237 percent in 2016, fell by 17 percent in 2017. At the same time, targets in Italy and France experienced similar decreases. After increasing 31 percent in 2016, the volume of phishing attacks against Italian companies declined more than 75 percent in 2017. And, driven by a decrease in attacks against government and financial institutions, phishing attacks against French targets fell by more than 50 percent in 2017, after increasing by 39 percent in the previous year.

Another interesting change was a significant decline in phishing attacks targeting British organizations. Back in 2014, British institutions were the second-most popular target for phishers, comprising eight percent of all phishing attacks globally. Over the past four years, though, the number of attacks against British targets has fallen by nearly 80 percent, making Britain only the fifth-most targeted nation in 2017.

Get the Low-Down on Phishing

Every year, when we release our annual Phishing Trends and Intelligence (PTI) report, we see shifts in the phishing landscape. As organizations and individuals become more savvy to phishing attacks, phishers are forced to develop new techniques and select new targets.

Your ability to defend against phishing attacks depends heavily on your understanding of how and where you’re likely to be targeted.

To find out how the phishing landscape evolved over the last year, including the most commonly observed tactics and targets, download your free copy of our latest PTI report here:

Get the 2018 Phishing Trends & Intelligence Report

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from The PhishLabs Blog authored by Crane Hassold, Senior Security Threat Researcher. Read the original post at: