Striking: These are the 10 most used brands for phishing

Check Point phishing

Phishing is timeless. But this year there are still more reports than usual. These are the 10 most used brands for phishing attempts.

Check Point has published its new Brand Phishing Report for the third quarter of 2020. In this report, Check Point Research, the Threat Intelligence arm of Check Point, highlights the brands most often impersonated by cyber criminals in their attempts to steal personal or payment information in the past three months. It is surprisingly Microsoft that tops the ranking.

Phishing top 10

In a fire phishing attack, cyber criminals try to mimic the official website of a well-known brand by using a similar domain name or quasi-identical URL. Often they also try to copy the design of the real website. The link to this bogus website can be sent by email or text message, or you can be redirected while browsing. The fake website often contains a form designed to steal users’ details, payment details or other personal information.

Is corona for something?

In Check Point’s latest Brand Phishing Report, Microsoft takes a striking leap. In the second quarter it was still in fifth place; then 7% of all phishing attempts worldwide were related to Microsoft. In July, August and September this increased to no less than 19% of all attempts.

One of the main reasons is that cyber criminals tried to take advantage of the large group of employees who still work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. New in the list is DHL, which appears in the top 10 for the first time. The courier company is immediately in second place (9%). This can also be explained by the peak in online shopping due to COVID-19.

The complete top 10

  1. Microsoft (19% of all brand phishing attempts)
  2. DHL (9%)
  3. Google (9%)
  4. PayPal (6%)
  5. Netflix (6%)
  6. (5%)
  7. Apple (5%)
  8. WhatsApp (5%)
  9. Amazon (4%)
  10. Instagram (4%)

It is striking that almost all of these are brands from the technology or financial sector, or social networks. This illustrates that, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, individuals are struggling with telecommuting technology, possible changes in their finances and increased use of social media.

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