WhatsApp and Microsoft, among the most used brands for phishing

WhatsApp and Microsoft, among the most used brands for phishing

That he phishing is a permanent threat when surfing the Internet is not new, but how hackers’ methods have evolved in order to steal users’ personal information. It is not surprising, then, that every time we find more fake websites that are practically traced to the millimeter of the originals and that can play a very tricky trick on us if we do not pay attention. But beyond that, we meet again globally known brands which are the perfect hook to make the less cautious fall.

According Check Point Research, the brands most imitated by hackers for phishing attacks during the last quarter of 2021 were DHL, Microsoft and WhatsApp. According to the research, 23% of global identity theft attempts were made through the renowned logistics and parcel company.

That DHL has been the brand most used by hackers to try to steal sensitive information from the public is not a coincidence. The researchers indicate that this is due to to the increase in online shopping in the time close to the end of the year festivities; but they also assure that the growth of online commerce due to the COVID-19 pandemic has played a fundamental role.

With Microsoft and WhatsApp, on the other hand, a somewhat more common pattern is observed by attackers when looking for phishing victims. The Redmond firm, which had already been the most used brand for identity theft crimes at the beginning of 2021, accounted for 20% of global attempts during the last quarter of last year. For its part, the popular messaging app occupied the third step of the podium with 11% of the cases.

Phishing also grew on social networks

The report of Check Point Research also mark an increase in phishing attempts through social networks. The most notorious case is that of LinkedIn, which saw significant growth between the third and fourth quarters of 2021; thus, it jumped from eighth to fifth place in the ranking between both periods. The Microsoft-owned platform closed last year with 8% of all identity theft attempts.

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As has happened with DHL, specialists maintain that the pandemic and the continuation of teleworking have deepened the use of social platforms for phishing.

Already last October, Google had warned about a “significant increase” in malware and phishing attacks during 2021. And the methodology is repeated in most cases; Fraudulent emails are used that send users to fake sites but copy the originals down to the last detail. There, users are invited to enter their login credentials and their data is stolen.

Image: Check Point Research

For this reason, it is necessary not only to pay due attention to the e-mail addresses from which the messages arrive, but also to the domains in which they request our login data. Over the past year hackers have also used Google ads with spoofed web pages to steal large sums of money from wallets of cryptocurrencies.

The 10 most used brands for identity theft

This is the Top 10 brands most used by hackers for their phishing campaigns in the last quarter of 2021:

  1. DHL (23%);
  2. Microsoft (20%);
  3. WhatsApp (11%);
  4. Google (10%);
  5. LinkedIn (8%);
  6. Amazon (4%);
  7. FedEx (3%);
  8. Roblox (3%);
  9. PayPal (2%);
  10. apples (2%).