An increase of 21% noticed in phishing attacks in Q2 2019, says a Report by Kaspersky

There have been more than 129.93 million phishing attacks globally in the second quarter of 2019, revealed a report by security vendor, Kaspersky.

Cybercriminals spam and attack through various modern and effective techniques. The old ways are improved, and new methods are created to make phishing attacks more successful and impactful on unsuspected victims.

According to Kaspersky’s report, developing advanced methods and using the old improvised methods are the reason for more phishing attacks in Q2 2019 as compared to the second quarter of 2018.

The average spam rate has been 57.6 percent in mail traffic worldwide, which is 1.67 percent more than the same quarter last year. The most number of spam, approximately 58.7 percent of the total worldwide, happened in May, whereas the largest source of the spam was China (23.72 percent), then came the United States with 13.89 percent, Russia 4.83 percent, and Brazil 4.6 percent. There were nearly 44 million malicious email attachments in the second quarter, according to the report.

Kaspersky detected and blocked 21 percent more phishing attacks, hitting almost 129.9 million, this year as compared to attacks in the same quarter last year. 12.3 percent of the Kaspersky users were targeted through phishing emails.

The most number of attacks took place in Greece, around 26.2 percent and then comes to Venezuela, Brazil, Australia, and Portugal. Banks out of all the industries, had the highest percentage of phishing emails, 3.7 percent whereas payment systems had 20.1 percent, global internet portals had 18 percent and 9 percent on social networks.

The trending events and topics were used by cybercriminals to attack people and grab their attention. As in the UK, spammers sent fake emails to victims, and forms were filled pretending to be from Canada Revenue Agency. A deadline of 24 hours was given otherwise people were threatened not to get a tax refund.

Also, fake emails of tax refund forms had malicious files attached that were downloaded into a computer, giving attackers easy access to the system. This allowed cybercriminals to steal passwords, hack operating systems, or record videos from webcam of the system.

Spammers also exploited the latest shows and movies like Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame or ports events like UEFA Europa League Final in Baku.

Maria Vergelis, a security researcher at Kaspersky, said seasonal spam and phishing attacks are more effective as people are excited to see or expect them. Victims realize being tricked but often when it is too late.

Kaspersky also shared specific points users should keep in mind to protect themselves against spam and phishing attacks.

· Before opening any email, check the sender’s email and the link address.

· Link address in an email should match the hyperlink, which can be monitored by hovering mouse over the link.

· Do not download attachments from unknown email or scan them before downloading. Also, check the authentication of the organization that sent it.

· Authentic companies never ask for sensitive information like passwords, thus never share them with any third party service.

· To block spam and phishing attacks, use reliable security solutions.

Read next: Avast, BitDefender, Kaspersky, Microsoft Defender: Which is the Best Antivirus for Windows 10 Devices?
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