Apple was the brand most commonly used in spoofing attacks during the first quarter of 2020, when 10% of all brand phishing attempts related to the tech giant, researchers report.
Check Point's "Brand Phishing Report" for the first quarter of 2020 highlights the brands that cybercriminals most frequently imitate to steal personal and financial data. Apple took the top spot overall, up from seventh place in the fourth quarter of 2019. Netflix came in second, with 9% of all phishing attempts relating to the company, followed by Yahoo (6%), WhatsApp (6%), and PayPal (5%). Chase Bank, in sixth place, was seen in 5% of attempts, up from 2% last quarter.
Technology was the industry most likely to be targeted in brand phishing, followed by banking, then media. Researchers note these are some of the best-known and most frequently used sectors, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when people are relying on remote work technology and streaming services. Attackers' use of Netflix could be related to this, they say.
Web phishing was the most common vector and made up 59% of attempts in the first quarter. Mobile phishing was second, with 23% of attempts, and email phishing came in third with 18% of attempts. Researchers attribute the popularity of mobile to the trend of people spending more time on their phones during the coronavirus pandemic, which attackers are exploiting.
Brand popularity in phishing attempts varies by attack vector, researchers found. Yahoo, Microsoft, Outlook, and Amazon are the most commonly used brands in email phishing, for example. Apple, Netflix, PayPal, and eBay are most popular in Web phishing, and mobile phishing attempts most often use Netflix, Apple, WhatsApp, and Chase.
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