Hackers create 57 000 fake web addresses weekly

Panda says that in an average week, hackers use some 375 different high-profile names and company brands to lure users.

Interestingly, Panda claims that 65% of fake websites imitate bank pages, followed by online stores and auction pages at 27%.

For its research, PandaLabs says it analysed malicious URLs positioned on the internet that hackers use to trick users into downloading malware or directly steal their bank details.

As well as banks, fake online stores such as eBay are used by hackers to steal users' login credentials.

Other financial institutions, such as investment funds, stockbrokers, and government organisations, occupy the following positions, with 2.3% and 1.9% respectively. The latter government organisations are, says Panda, largely accounted for by the US revenue service or other tax collecting agencies.

Payment platforms, led by Paypal, and ISPs are in fifth and sixth place, whilst gaming sites – topped by World of Warcraft – complete the rankings.

Luis Corrons, PandaLabs' technical director, said that the problem is that, when users visit a website through search engines, it can be difficult for users to know whether it is genuine or not. "For this reason, and given the proliferation of this technique, it is advisable to go to banking sites or online stores by typing in the address in the browser, rather than using search engines", he said.

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