Who Gets Targeted Most in Cyberattack Campaigns

Attackers are changing both their tactics and targets in an attempt to remain criminally successful, Proofpoint's study found.



A low-level, non-executive title is no defense against spear-phishing campaigns, a new report has found.

Attackers are finding success with old tactics used against new targets: R&D and engineering staff tend to be more frequently targeted than employees in other departments, and individual engineers and developers are targeted at a higher rate than executives, according to Proofpoint's quarterly analysis of highly targeted cyberattacks.

The fastest growing category of attacked addresses, though, were generic functional accounts like "[email protected]" or "[email protected]". Those generic addresses accounted for roughly 30% of all email attacks tracked in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Criminals aren't limiting themselves to email attacks, either: Web-based social engineering groups grew 150% over the previous quarter and fraudulent social media support account phishing was up 442% over the previous year.

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