Phishing Attacks Crushed Records Last Quarter, Driven by Mobile

Shocking phishing numbers (more than 1 million in a single quarter) are being driven by vishing, smishing, and other lures that target mobile devices.

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

September 28, 2022

1 Min Read
User rejecting a mobile phone call from unknown caller to represent mobile phishing campaign
Source: Christian Horz via Alamy Stock Photo

Last quarter saw a record-shattering number of observed phishing attacks, fueled in large part by attempts to target users on their mobile devices. 

The latest Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) "Phishing Activity Trends Report" for the second quarter of 2022 found 1,097,811 observed phishing attacks, the most the group has ever measured in its history. 

The financial sector remained the top target for phishing lures (27.6%), along with other bombarded sectors, including webmail and software-as-a-service providers, social media sites, and cryptocurrency. 

But much of the rise in phishing volume is due to a new threat actor focus on mobile devices, specifically vishing (voice phishing) and smishing (SMS phishing) attacks, the report noted. 

"We're seeing a huge increase in mobile phone-based fraud, with smishing and vishing collectively seeing a nearly 70% increase in volume as compared to Q1 totals," Matthew Harris, senior product manager of fraud at Opsec said in reaction to the APWG findings. "We are still seeing fraud coming in via the typical OTT apps (WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, etc.), but the SMS-based fraud is really the kicker here," 

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Dark Reading Staff

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