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A Recent Study Reveals That Phishing Websites Increased In Amount Across 2020

A recent report, published by the Palo Alto Network, has revealed that phishing attacks dramatically increased over the course of 2019 to 2021.

Phishing attacks, for those unaware, are a form of cybersecurity threats that involve stealing an individual's prominent personal data. These usually come in the form of disguises such as hazardous links, fake webpages, and the like. Despite the increased awareness of the general public with regards to cyber crime, phishing attacks still happen almost regularly. The developers of these attacks have grown with the general internet community, evolving, and producing new & better methods of obtaining access to an individual's essential information. Credit card numbers, social security numbers, addresses, nothing is safe from a phishing attack, so long as its sophisticated enough.

Hackers got themselves a very early and prolonged Holidays with the COVID-19 pandemic that struck the entire world. With nearly all of 2020 having been spent in a state of lockdown, everyone short of essential workers had to rely on remote working. It was time to dust off the old laptops and iPads, since they were now the sole source of income for a lot of people. However, working at home comes with its caveats. Specifically, the lack of company-provided firewalls or such, which provide a decent amount of protection from more invasive data hacks. Therefore, people were now more exposed than ever to the whims of hackers and other such criminals. This was also exacerbated by the fact that desktop and mobile usage increased by a sharp margin across 2020, leading to a larger batch of individuals to step data from.

Palo Alto Networks team ended up publishing a report detailing just how much phishing attack increased. They started by gathering data from across September 2019 to April 2021. Information was gathered regarding firewall traffic and phishing sites detected by URL filters. Unsurprisingly, firewalls saw a drop in traffic and usage. On the other hand, URL filters ended up noting an increased amount of phishing websites around February 2020, with results peaking in June 2020. February was also the time around which lockdown had started being implemented across the world.
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