Microsoft tops the list of most impersonated brands | #emailsecurity | #phishing | #ransomware

Tech brands such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Netflix are among the most impersonated brands. However, financial services top the list of most impersonated industries.

Phishing attacks come in all shapes and forms. However, brand phishing is one of the most common ways scammers target internet users. In this attack, criminals masquerade as legitimate brands to steal users’ financial information and personal data.

Microsoft and Facebook were the most impersonated brands in phishing attacks in the first half of 2022. According to email security and threat detection firm Vade, scammers set up 11k unique phishing URLs for Microsoft and over 10k for Facebook.

Researchers claim that Microsoft got to the top position because compared to the first quarter of 2022, the number of phishing URLs related to the company grew by a staggering 266%.

Microsoft and Facebook were followed by French banking group Crédit Agricole (8.2k), WhatsApp (8.1k), and Orange (7.8 k).


Banks at the top

According to the research, financial services topped the list of most impersonated industries in the year’s first half. The sector had eight brands in the top 25, with Credit Agricole, MTB, and PayPal used for phishing most often.

Similar to Microsoft and Facebook, financial services brands saw significant increases in impersonation in the first quarter of 2022. Crédit Agricole phishing increased by 203%, MTB saw a 332% increase, and attempts to impersonate PayPal grew by 305 %.

Vade researchers claim that the cloud industry was the second most impersonated, with six brands in the top 25. Among those are Microsoft, Google, Netflix, Adobe, Sharefile, and Docusign.

The report also shows that most phishing attacks occur on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The way scammers choose specific days for attacks is no coincidence.

For example, earlier reports show that most malicious emails are delivered between 2 PM and 6 PM, with very little fluctuation day-to-day, except for the weekend. That’s because threat actors bank on employees being stressed and tired, thus more likely to open a shady email or click an unsafe link.

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