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Internet users might be getting more security savvy and are getting better at identifying phishing emails.

Phishing spam is down significantly, according to two recent reports, one by Russian anti-virus company Kaspersky and the other by IBM’s Internet Security X-Force.

Phishing, the attempt to lure victims into revealing banking web site passwords or other sensitive information, is largely aimed at PayPal and eBay customers, according to Kaspersky researchers. They said 60 percent of the phishing emails they monitored were attempts to steal login information for those two businesses.

The Kaspersky researchers said in their report that in the first quarter of this year, phishing emails made up .78 percent of email traffic. In the second quarter it fell to .49 percent.

The IBM X-Force researchers reported that phishing made up .2 – .8 percent of spam emails during sampling periods in the first half of last year. It was .1 percent of spam in the first half of this year.

Besides Internet users being more security conscious, other reasons for the drop could be the success of anti-phishing measures in anti-malware products or banking Trojans could be replacing phishing, they also said. IBM estimated that 55,000 people still lose their confidential information to phishing every month.

Kaspersky report here.

Story on IBM report here.

Tom Kelchner