Microsoft is cybercriminals' favorite brand to impersonate in phishing attacks, following a 57% increase in phishing URLs detected during Q2 2018, Vade Secure reports.
The boost propelled Microsoft past PayPal and Facebook, which fell into second and third place, respectively, on the inaugural Phishers' Favorites list. Researchers tallied the number of new phishing URLs detected in the company's filter engine to compile their list of most commonly spoofed brands.
Microsoft took the top spot because it's highly profitable to compromise an Office 365 account, researchers report. Email-based attacks are seen as an easy entry point into a treasure trove of data, files, and contacts from other Office 365 apps, such as OneDrive, SharePoint, and Skype.
PayPal was a distant second due to a 16% increase in phishing URLs; however, it remains heavily targeted as the most broadly used online payment service, with 237 million users. Facebook fell two spots to No. 3 after a 54% decline in phishing URLs. The social media giant has historically been a popular target but is less common after it ramped up security efforts following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
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