Facebook is the most popular company to impersonate among cybercriminals launching brand phishing attacks, which most commonly spoof major organizations in the technology industry.
Eighteen percent of brand phishing attempts in the fourth quarter of 2019 were designed to mimic Facebook. In these attacks, criminals imitate an official company by creating a website and domain or URL similar to the targeted brand. The link can be sent via email or SMS, redirected while browsing, or sent from a fraudulent mobile app, Check Point analysts report.
Following Facebook in popularity were Yahoo (10%), Netflix (5%), PayPal (5%), Microsoft (3%), Spotify (3%), Apple (2%), Google (2%), Chase (2%), and Ray Ban (2%). Web-based attacks made up 48% of total brand phishing instances, followed by email (27%), and mobile (25%) attacks.
Brands’ popularity varied depending on how the attack was conducted. Attackers favored Chase and Facebook for mobile attacks, for example, but preferred Spotify and Microsoft for Web-based attacks. Yahoo and Ray Ban were frequently seen in attacks on email inboxes.
Researchers who compiled the Check Point Research Brand Phishing Report for Q4 advise readers to avoid clicking promotional links and instead use Google to get to retailers’ websites, paying attention to links in Google results. Beware of special offers – an 80% discount on a new iPhone really is too good to be true – and be wary of lookalike domains and spelling errors in emails or websites, they also say.
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