Phishing attacks are on the increase and massive spikes recorded in November and December could herald a year of unprecedented activity. 

Netcraft notes that just 41 000 phishing sites were detected in 2005, rising to a massive 135 000 in November and more than 277 000 in December.
According to Netcraft, the dramatic surge in attacks was fueled by new tools to rapidly deploy entire networks of phishing sites on cracked web servers.
These packages, known broadly as Rockphish or R11, each included dozens of sites spoofing major banks, and could be unzipped in a subdirectory of a hacked site to create an instant phishing network.
By using a common directory structure and sophisticated DNS management, phishers created dozens of spoof sites with subdomains including the name of the target institution.
These networks were installed on large numbers of compromised machines in botnets, organised with management tools that allowed attackers to rapidly add and redirect sites within their networks.
Phishing scams also expanded and diversified their list of targets in 2006. A total of 942 institutions were targeted in 2006, including banks and credit unions of all sizes, online payment gateways, e-commerce retailers, sopcial networking sites, ISPs, online games and govenment agencies.
The Netcraft Toolbar Community is a digital neighborhood watch scheme, in which the most alert and expert members act to defend the larger community of users against phishing frauds.