October 19, 2021 9:38:09 pm
Microsoft is the most imitated brands in nearly 29 percent of all phishing attacks globally, albeit at a slower rate, down from 45 percent in the second quarter of 2021, a report by cybersecurity firm Check Point.
Cybersecurity experts from Check Point Research analyzed phishing emails sent out during the third quarter of 2021, and found that WhatsApp, LinkedIn, and Facebook, made the top ten most impersonated brands list for the first time this year.
The leader of this infamous list has stayed the same with Microsoft being impersonated in almost a third of all phishing attempts (29 percent), while DHL lost the number two position to Amazon, which now takes up 13 percent.
Omer Dembinsky, Data Research Group Manager at Check Point Software, in a public statement said that threat actors are constantly trying to innovate their attempts to steal peoples’ personal data by impersonating leading brands. “For the first time this year, social channels have become one of the top three categories exploited by cybercriminals, no doubt in an attempt to take advantage of the increasing number of people working and communicating remotely in the wake of the pandemic.”
“Unfortunately, there’s only so much these brands can do to help combat phishing attempts. So often, it’s the human element that often fails to pick up on a misspelled domain, an incorrect date, or another suspicious detail in a text or email. As always, we encourage users to be cautious when divulging their data, and to think twice before opening email attachments or links, especially emails that claim to be from companies such as Amazon, Microsoft or DHL as they are the most likely to be imitated,” he added.
The report also highlights that in a brand phishing attack, criminals try to imitate the official website of a well-known brand by using a similar domain name or URL and web-page design to the genuine site. The link to the fake website can be sent to targeted individuals by email or text message, a user can be redirected during web browsing, or it may be triggered from a fraudulent mobile application.
The fake website often contains a form intended to steal users’ credentials, payment details, or other personal information. Dembinsky asserted that users should be vigilant when it comes to any emails or other communications that appear to be from social media channels such as Facebook or WhatsApp.
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