The economy of phishing: A survey of the operations of the phishing market

Christopher Abad


Phishing has been defined as the fraudulent acquisition of personal information by tricking an individual into believing the attacker is a trustworthy entity [1]. Phishing attacks are becoming more sophisticated and are on the rise. In order to develop effective strategies and solutions to combat the phishing problem, one needs to understand the infrastructure in which phishing economies thrive.

We have conducted extensive research to uncover phishing networks. The result is detailed analysis from 3,900,000 phishing e–mails, 220,000 messages collected from 13 key phishing–related chat rooms, 13,000 chat rooms and 48,000 users, which were spidered across six chat networks and 4,400 compromised hosts used in botnets.

This paper presents the findings from this research as well as an analysis of the phishing infrastructure.

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