Brand Phishing Report for Q2 2020 Reveals That Google, Amazon, and WhatsApp/Facebook Are Now The Most Imitated Brands for Phishing

According to a new report by CheckPoint, Google and Amazon were the most imitated brands for phishing attacks during the second quarter of this year, while Apple fell to 7th place during this quarter. It is interesting to note that Apple was the leading brand for phishing attacks during the first quarter of this year.

According to estimates, phishing is the starting point of more than 90 percent of cyber-attacks, and according to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report, 32% of data breaches involved phishing attacks. In Brand Phishing, hacker imitates being an official site of a well-known brand by using a similar URL (Uniform Resource Locator) or domain. Usually, attackers use webpages that are similar to the webpages of official websites.

The Brand Phishing Report for the second quarter also shows that Facebook was the most imitated brand on smartphone. The report suggests that Google and Amazon accounted for 13% of brand phishing scams each, while Facebook, as well as WhatsApp, accounted for 9% of brand phishing scams each.

Web-based phishing exploits were the most common type during Q2, while email phishing attacks also surged during the second quarter of this year, and were the second most common type, compared to the first quarter of this year where email phishing exploits were the third most common type. Among various attack platforms, web-based attacks accounted for 61% of brand phishing scams, while email accounted for 24%. The easing of the coronavirus restrictions across the globe may be the reason for this change as businesses are re-opening around the world, and workers are returning to work.

According to the report, Microsoft accounted for 7% of brand phishing scams followed by Outlook which accounted for 3% of brand phishing attacks. Netflix, Apple, Huawei, and PayPal accounted for 2% each, while the top brand industry sectors were technology, Banking, and social network.

During June of this year, researchers witnessed a fraudulent site trying to imitate iCloud’s login page, and steal login credentials. Researchers suggest users confirm that they using or ordering from authentic websites, and do not open shady/promotional links they receive in email. People are recommended to beware for special offers as they can be biggest culprit of cyber crimes. For instance, an 80% discount on a new Apple iPhone is not usually a reliable buying opportunity.


Illustration: Freepik.com

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