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Friday, March 1, 2024

Top Impersonated Brands in Phishing

The final quarter of 2023 has unveiled a striking trend in the realm of digital deception. The latest CheckPoint Brand Phishing Report, meticulously compiled by Check Point Research, sheds light on the concerning escalation of brand impersonation incidents. This alarming wave of cyber fraudulence has seen Microsoft ascend to the dubious pinnacle of being the most frequently mimicked brand by cyber miscreants.

The Dominance of the Technology Sector

The report, which meticulously scrutinizes brand impersonation incidents spanning from October to December 2023, reveals a discernible pattern: the technology sector emerges as the primary hunting ground for cybercriminals.

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Microsoft, the renowned tech giant, found itself at the forefront of these deceptive schemes, accounting for a staggering 33% of all brand phishing exploits.

Following closely, Amazon and Google also find themselves tangled in this web, holding the second and third positions with 9% and 8% respectively. This data unequivocally underscores the allure of the technology domain for digital malefactors.

The Varied Landscape of Targeted Industries

Beyond the tech realm, social networks and banking sectors emerge as the other prominent arenas for such deceptive practices. The multifaceted nature of these industries, coupled with their vast user bases, renders them particularly vulnerable to such nefarious activities.

Seasonal Surge in Retail and Courier Targeting

The report also highlights a seasonal surge in phishing activities targeting retailers and courier services, particularly in Q4 2023. This uptick aligns with the festive period’s consumer spending patterns. DHL, a leading package delivery brand, forayed into the top ten, likely propelled by the increased activity during November’s shopping fervor. Amazon’s elevated ranking is largely attributed to the buzz surrounding the Amazon Fall Prime Day sale, a prime event in October’s calendar.

Persistent Phishing Threats into the New Year

As we usher in a new year, the specter of phishing looms large, undeterred by the change in the calendar. The simplicity with which even those with minimal IT expertise can replicate legitimate brands is alarming, leading to an upsurge in social engineering attacks. With the burgeoning use of AI, these phishing campaigns are poised to become more sophisticated and indistinguishable from genuine company communications.

Vigilance Against Renowned Brand Impersonation

The persistent threat underscores the need for heightened vigilance, especially when interacting with emails purporting to be from reputable brands. As technology, social networking, and banking giants continue to be prime targets, users must approach such communications with caution and skepticism.

Detailed Overview of the Top Phishing Brands

The Top 10 List: A Breakdown

The report provides a detailed list of the top 10 brands that were impersonated in brand phishing events during the last quarter of 2023:

  1. Microsoft (33%)
  2. Amazon (9%)
  3. Google (8%)
  4. Apple (4%)
  5. Wells Fargo (3%)
  6. LinkedIn (3%)
  7. Home Depot (3%)
  8. Facebook (3%)
  9. Netflix (2%)
  10. DHL (2%)
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Dimitris is an Information Technology and Cybersecurity professional with more than 20 years of experience in designing, building and maintaining efficient and secure IT infrastructures.
Among others, he is a certified: CISSP, CISA, CISM, ITIL, COBIT and PRINCE2, but his wide set of knowledge and technical management capabilities go beyond these certifications. He likes acquiring new skills on penetration testing, cloud technologies, virtualization, network security, IoT and many more.

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