Microsoft, Google, WhatsApp and Facebook among top brands used by scammers in phishing attacks, experts say | #socialmedia


MICROSOFT, Google, and Facebook are among the top brands used by unscrupulous scammers in phishing attacks, experts say.

A study conducted by researchers at Checkpoint revealed that hackers impersonating Microsoft accounted for 29 percent of all global phishing attacks between July and September.

Microsoft is among the top brands used by unscrupulous scammers in phishing attacks, data shows

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Microsoft is among the top brands used by unscrupulous scammers in phishing attacks, data shows

Scammers imitating Amazon and Google accounted for 13 percent and six percent of all phishing attacks over the three-month period.

Social media platforms Facebook, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp made the list of top ten of the most imitated brands for the first time, according to Komando.

Scammers try to use recognizable brands to lure their unsuspecting victims into providing their personal details.

Researchers at Checkpoint said hackers sent unsuspecting LinkedIn users a phishing email titled: “You have a new LinkedIn business invitation from…”

The email directs users to a fake LinkedIn website where scammers expect Americans to enter their personal details. If users enter their personal information then hackers can steal their data.

Scammers also tend to use the keywords “required”, “message”, and “new” when sending malicious emails.

Links to websites pretend to be legitimate as hackers try to trick people into clicking them, according to Tech Radar.

Ben Brigida, director of SOC Operations at Expel, told TechRepublic: “Attackers are trying to trick people into giving them their credentials.

“The best way to do this is to make the email look legitimate, prompt one clear action, and lace it with emotion.”

Users should not click emails that they’re unsure about and they should check the URL of a site to make sure it matches with a legitimate webpage.

Americans have been warned that emails shouldn’t ask for personal information.

A survey revealed that almost half of adults have become so suspicious of scams that they ignore genuine emails.

The study of 2,000 adults found one in three people check their emails first before clicking on potentially dangerous links.

SCAMMING FEARS

The fear of being scammed ranked as the highest reason for this approach, while identity theft and avoiding computer viruses came in the list of the top three reasons.

Around 47 percent of people surveyed reportedly overlook a genuine email because they think it’s a scam.

Professor Kerensa Jennings, a senior adviser on digital impact at BT, which commissioned the research alongside Good Things Foundation ahead of Get Online Week, said: “Online scams have been around now for a number of years.

“From emails asking people to help transfer vast sums of money, to more recent scam emails that pretend to be from your bank or a well-known company, asking you to share your personal information.

“It’s no wonder therefore that people are cautious and careful – rightly so.”

Android users have been encouraged to update their cell phones regularly to protect them from malware known as Flubot.

Devices can become infected with the bug if malicious links are accessed.

Victims can sometimes receive a message supposedly from a “courier” which includes a link to “rearrange delivery”.

But after clicking on the link, they are prompted to download a phishing app that has FluBot embedded in it.

Once it has received necessary permissions from unsuspecting victims, FluBot gains access to the entire device and acts “as spyware, SMS spammer, and credit card and banking credential stealers”, according to the cybersecurity company Proofpoint.

Apps should only be downloaded from the Google Play store and never install apps via an unfamiliar link sent by text or email.

The Sun has approached Microsoft and Amazon for comment.

Scammers are sending unsuspecting victims malicious links via text messages

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Scammers are sending unsuspecting victims malicious links via text messagesCredit: Getty
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