The Anti-Phishing Working Group has released their latest report, and the news is not good. It seems that the use of email in phishing attempts is increasing only slightly, but a new trend is emerging: the use of spyware/malware designed for the same purpose.
The report cites a couple of very interesting points (some of which you won’t find surprising). The use of instant messaging for gathering personal information is on the rise, as is the more dangerous use of malware. And, in a tribute to US policy on the matter, including but not limited to our lightning quick, highly effective legislative and investigative system, America still leads the world in hosted phishing sites (although China is catching up fast).
You can grab the report in PDF from the APWG here: http://antiphishing.org/APWG_Phishing_Activity_Report_Feb05.pdf.
Additional opinions on the matter can be found here: Phishers Moving Away From E-mail “Lures” from Yahoo! News, and Anti-Phishing Working Group Report Sees Crimeware Rising from TMC Net.