International brands were the main target of phishing attacks in April, pushing the US companies into second place, RSA Security’s monthly survey has reported.

According to the company, the UK now has the unfortunate status of being number two in the phishing brand league table.

The US still leads in terms of the volume of attacks, but international brands now account for 57 percent of brands targeted globally. Of this, the UK accounts for 42 percent, Spain 26 percent, Italy 10 percent, Canada 10 percent, and Germany 5 percent.

The figures are partly explained by a drop in the total number of brands targeted from a record high of 127 in March to only 93 in April. Criminals also appear to be shifting their attention away from the US and away from English-speaking countries, both of which have dominated phishing lists since the phenomenon first emerged.

It could also be that phishing fatigue has set in the US, with banks better protected, more spam being filtered, and consumers more wary of unsolicited communications.

Less positive for the US, RSA reckons it still hosts or relays two thirds of all phishing emails in the world, with South Korea, Germany, the UK and China well behind.

The fact that China figures well down in the statistics runs somewhat counter to other recent surveys that have flagged the country as rising in significance in terms of its distribution of spyware, spam and hacking.

RSA monitors online crime form its grandiose-sounding Anti-Fraud Command Centre (AFCC).