Dec 31, 2020
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The annual ranking that collects the most dangerous brands for credential theft has been published

Every year, Check Point Software experts draw up a ranking of hackers’ favorite brands for phishing.

You probably know this already, but I remember that this is the mechanism by which Cyber ​​criminals attempt to steal credentials and personal information to access different types of accounts.

To maximize the peak of remote work created by the coronavirus pandemic, hackers have turned Microsoft into their brand for phishing attacks,  including it in almost a fifth of all global phishing attacks  and ll’ultimo  quarter .

Check Point researchers have published their quarterly Brand Phishing Report. The report, powered by Check Point’s ThreatCloud * database, highlights the brands that hackers imitated the most to trick people into giving up their personal data or payment credentials in July, August and September of this year. .

Hackers are  using  the Microsoft brand to fool remote workers 

In the third quarter of 2020, Microsoft was the brand most frequently targeted by cybercriminals, moving from fifth place in the second quarter to the number one spot. 19% of all global brand-related phishing attempts are attributable to the tech giant, as threat actors tried to exploit the large number of employees working remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the second quarter, Microsoft made up only 7% of all brand phishing attempts. The following are the top brands ranked by their overall appearance in brand phishing attempts: 

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

For the first time in 2020, DHL entered the top 10 of the rankings, occupying the second place with 9% of all phishing attempts that are related to this company.

Email is the main attack vector, accounting for 44% of all phishing attacks

During the third quarter of 2020, email phishing was the most relevant type of brand phishing medium, with 44% of attacks, surpassing web phishing (43%) which, in the second quarter, was in first place. The main phishing brands exploited by email hackers were Microsoft, DHL and Apple, in that order.

Email (44% of all phishing attacks during Q3) 

  1. Microsoft
  2. DHL
  3. Apple

Web (43% of all phishing attacks during Q3) 

  1. Microsoft
  2. Google
  3. PayPal

Mobile (12% of all phishing attacks during the third quarter) 

  1. Whatsapp
  2. PayPal
  3. Facebook

Example A:  email themed phishing  Microsoft  that  aims to steal credentials

During the middle of August, Check Point researchers spotted a malicious phishing email that aimed to steal Microsoft account credentials.

The attacker was trying to trick the victim into clicking on a malicious link that redirects the user to a fraudulent Microsoft login page.

Example B: An email themed phishing Amazon that tries to steal credential information  access

During the month of September, Check Point researchers noticed a malicious phishing email that was allegedly sent by Amazon and which allegedly tried to steal the user’s credit information.

The email said the user’s account had been disabled due to too many login errors and pointed to a fraudulent Amazon billing center website where the user is instructed to enter billing information.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon saw  significant growth , as many relied on the e-commerce giant for shopping during quarantine periods.

As a result, hackers tried hard to take advantage of Amazon’s popularity during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Remote workers are a focal point for hackers. Companies around the world have their employees working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, perhaps for the first time ever.

There are currently billions of people working remotely, many of them doing it for the first time in their life.

The sudden change has left many companies and remote workers unprepared to handle the latest cyber attacks.

Hackers, sensing great opportunities, are mimicking the best known brand for work: Microsoft.

I expect Microsoft’s knockoffs to continue this year as well. I encourage remote workers to be very cautious when they receive an email from their Microsoft account, in which case they need to raise their guard, ”  said  Omer Dembinsky, Manager of Data Threat Intelligence at Check Point.

We have been warned several times, instructed in all ways to avoid falling into this trap, it is incredible to think that in 2020 phishing can still hit so many people, even with a fair technological preparation.

Remember to always look at the sender of the e-mail, not through the name that appears as the sender, but by checking which e-mail address they write to you from. Often you will find the indication Poste Italiane as the sender, but if the address from which the message arrives is verified the domain is completely different. Sometimes even just one changes, rather than a vowel, on other occasions the name is completely different, however it is not difficult to understand that the email has a suspicious origin.

Another risky element in the e-mail is that of links.If you place the cursor over any type of link without clicking, the computer automatically shows which address you are sent to. Also in this case, it is not difficult to understand if there is an address that belongs to the company that is writing to us or not.

In the end, after all these recommendations, if you fall for it maybe a little more you deserve it … 

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