Despite so much news surrounding phishing attacks pretending to be from Microsoft’s Office 365 platform, a new report from Vade Secure provides a global perspective to impersonation.
If I was to ask you what brand is most impersonated in phishing attacks, you’d likely say ‘Microsoft.’ That’s probably an educated guess, as even I’ve covered news stating they are pretty constantly the most impersonated brand. But new data from security vendor Vade Secure covering the first half of 2021 shows the world as a whole doesn’t experience impersonation quite the same way that, say, the U.S. does.
According to their Phishers’ Favorites Top 25 H1 2021, Worldwide Edition report, Microsoft does remain the top *cloud* brand worldwide, but they aren’t number one overall; not even close.
The top brand impersonated worldwide is French bank Crédit Agricole (with 17,775 phishing URLs), with Facebook coming in second place and then Microsoft in a distant third (having only 12,777 phishing URLs in comparison).
According to Vade Secure, phishing activity spiked in Q2 of this year, increasing a whopping 281%. Also noted is an increase in the use of remote images (ones that are displayed when an email is opened but are hosted remotely) as a means of evading detection.
Whether Crédit Agricole is familiar to you or not isn’t really the issue here; the focus should be on how cybercriminals use well-known brands – in this case regionally – to trick victims into engaging with malicious attachments and links. Continual Security Awareness Training is needed to keep your users updated on trends like this, so they can be particularly vigilant whenever seeing emails purporting to be from a much-impersonated brand.
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