Check Point Brand Phishing Report: Microsoft remains bait number one

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Brand Phishing

Repeatedly, Microsoft remains the most imitated brand of cyber criminals, followed by DHL and Amazon

The security researchers at Check Point Research (CPR), the threat intelligence division of Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP), have published the Brand Phishing Report with the most frequently imitated brands of the second quarter of 2021.

Cybercriminals often use the cover of big brand or company names to disguise their own machinations and trap their victims. Also in the second quarter of 2021, tech giant Microsoft remains the brand that is most often imitated by criminals with 45 percent. The top positions are completed by the parcel service DHL with 26 percent and the shipping giant Amazon with 11 percent.

The complete Top 10:

  1. Microsoft (based on 45% of all brand phishing attempts worldwide)
  2. DHL (26 %)
  3. Amazon (11 %)
  4. Best Buy (4 %)
  5. Google (3 %)
  6. LinkedIn (3 %)
  7. Dropbox (1 %)
  8. Chase (1 %)
  9. Apple (1 %)
  10. Paypal (0.5 %)

In a brand phishing attack, the actors try to imitate the official website of a well-known brand by using a similar domain name or URL and website design to the real website. The link to the fake website can be sent to the targets via email or text message, a user can be redirected while browsing the Internet, or it can be triggered by a fraudulent mobile application. The fake website often contains a form that serves to steal users ‘ login details, payment details, or other personal information.

Omer Dembinsky, Data Research Group Manager at Check Point Software

Omer Dembinsky, Data Research Group Manager at Check Point Software, explains: “Cybercriminals are increasingly trying to steal people’s personal data by posing as leading brands. They focus heavily on technology, shipping and retail. Microsoft topped the list, in a quarter in which the group warned of a new Russian Nobelium phishing campaign. Interestingly, in the first quarter of 2021, retail was overtaken by banking on the list, but now it has regained its position in the top three, possibly due to Amazon Prime Day sales. In fact, more than 2,300 new domains with ‘Amazon’ in their name were registered in Q2 ahead of Amazon Prime Day. Unfortunately, the human element is often unable to detect misspelled domains or suspicious texts and emails, and so cybercriminals and their machinations continue to impersonate trusted brands to trick people into revealing their personal information. In the second quarter, we also saw a global increase in ransomware attacks, often initially spread through phishing emails with malicious attachments. As always, we advise users to be careful when disclosing their data and think twice before opening email attachments or links, especially emails that pretend to be from companies such as Amazon, Microsoft or DHL, as they are the most likely to be imitated.“

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