Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Cloud

2/9/2021
12:50 PM
50%
50%

Microsoft & Facebook Were Phishers' Favorite Brands in 2020

Cloud services was the most impersonated industry, followed by financial services, e-commerce, and social media, researchers report.

Microsoft was the most frequently impersonated brand, and cloud services the most frequently spoofed industry, in a year when an extraordinary number of people switched to remote work.

Related Content:

How to Better Secure Your Microsoft 365 Environment

Special Report: How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem

New From The Edge: What's the Difference Between 'Observability' and 'Visibility' in Security?

This is the third year in a row that Microsoft topped phishers' favorite brands, report researchers at Vade Secure, which annually ranks the most impersonated brands and industries in phishing attacks. Microsoft accounted for 30,621 unique phishing URLs in 2020, followed by Facebook (14,876), which moved up two spots from 2019, then PayPal, Chase, and eBay in the top five. 

Cloud services companies were the most impersonated, with 33% of phishing URLs by industry. Financial services (29%) came in second, followed by e-commerce/logistics (16%), social media (13%), Internet/telecommunications (7%), and government (2%).

"COVID-19 colored everything in 2020, so it's not surprising that cloud came out on top," the researchers write in a blog post, noting the demand for cloud-based tools spiked last year. Microsoft Teams' user base, for example, jumped from 44 million people in March 2020 to 75 million in April. Facebook, Google, and Netflix, all in the top 20 brands, saw big financial gains. 

Pandemic-related phishing emails were a key trend in 2020. Many of the attacks spoofed health organizations and government agencies, researchers note. Some took on a more targeted angle and impersonated HR departments with fake messages about employee benefits. 

Emails laced with malware were also common: Emotet was a top threat last year, researchers report, and a wave of Emotet emails targeted Microsoft users in September. This attack led to a single-day high of 1,799 Microsoft phishing URLs and 13,617 for the third quarter, a 44% jump from the second quarter.

Read Vade Secure's full blog post for more details.

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
News
Inside the Ransomware Campaigns Targeting Exchange Servers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/2/2021
Commentary
Beyond MITRE ATT&CK: The Case for a New Cyber Kill Chain
Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, Omdia,  3/30/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-29445
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-16
jose-node-esm-runtime is an npm package which provides a number of cryptographic functions. In versions prior to 3.11.4 the AES_CBC_HMAC_SHA2 Algorithm (A128CBC-HS256, A192CBC-HS384, A256CBC-HS512) decryption would always execute both HMAC tag verification and CBC decryption, if either failed `JWEDe...
CVE-2021-29446
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-16
jose-node-cjs-runtime is an npm package which provides a number of cryptographic functions. In versions prior to 3.11.4 the AES_CBC_HMAC_SHA2 Algorithm (A128CBC-HS256, A192CBC-HS384, A256CBC-HS512) decryption would always execute both HMAC tag verification and CBC decryption, if either failed `JWEDe...
CVE-2021-29451
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-16
Portofino is an open source web development framework. Portofino before version 5.2.1 did not properly verify the signature of JSON Web Tokens. This allows forging a valid JWT. The issue will be patched in the upcoming 5.2.1 release.
CVE-2021-29452
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-16
a12n-server is an npm package which aims to provide a simple authentication system. A new HAL-Form was added to allow editing users in version 0.18.0. This feature should only have been accessible to admins. Unfortunately, privileges were incorrectly checked allowing any logged in user to make this ...
CVE-2021-29444
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-16
jose-browser-runtime is an npm package which provides a number of cryptographic functions. In versions prior to 3.11.4 the AES_CBC_HMAC_SHA2 Algorithm (A128CBC-HS256, A192CBC-HS384, A256CBC-HS512) decryption would always execute both HMAC tag verification and CBC decryption, if either failed `JWEDec...