The UK remains the second highest target of phishing attacks on banks, after the US, CIOs at financial institutions have been warned.

According to RSA, the security supplier in its latest Online Fraud Report, in February 12 percent of the banks hit by phishing attacks were based in the UK. This was double the tally of third-placed Canada.

The only respite for the UK was how far it trailed the US. US banks were the target of 59 percent of phishing attacks. The US also hosted 57 percent of such crimes, while the UK remained a relatively small host as the origin of 5 percent of attacks.

Fraudsters were also taking smarter steps to cover their tracks, RSA wrote. Botnet-based phishing attacks were increasing, as were encoded phishing kits in which the PHP source code is encrypted. Criminals were also increasing their use of URL multiplication, where multiple similar addresses were used to direct to the same attack and bypass spam filters.