Phishing spike detected in lead-up to Amazon Prime Day | #emailsecurity | #phishing | #ransomware

Researchers at Check Point have detected a 37pc increase in daily Amazon-related phishing attacks this month as Prime Day approaches.

With Amazon Prime Day around the corner, research groups are warning excited shoppers to be aware of potential scams as cybercriminals prepare to exploit the busy online period.

New research indicates there has been a rise in phishing attacks, which is when an attacker pretends to be a company such as Amazon to steal confidential information, such as credit card numbers or passwords.

This can be done through various methods, such as texts and emails that link to a fake website. The practice of cybercriminals creating malicious website domains that impersonate legitimate company websites has been going on for years now.

However, there were almost 1,900 new domains related to the term “amazon” last month, according to cybersecurity company Check Point Software. The company said around 9.5pc of these domains were deemed either malicious or suspicious in nature.

Check Point researchers have detected a 37pc increase in daily Amazon-related phishing attacks this month compared to the daily average from June.

The rise in phishing activity as Amazon Prime Day approaches was is a trend that mirrors previous years, according to Check Point.

The firm said there was an 86pc increase in phishing emails related to Amazon Prime Day in June 2021 compared to the previous month. There was also a 16pc increase in phishing URLs in the same period.

A report by Check Point company Avanan, an email security company, said there has been a rise in Amazon-related phishing emails and said the tech giant is “one of the most impersonated brands out there”.

The company shared examples of email-related scams it has detected. In one case, hackers send an email with the promise of an Amazon gift card if the user takes a survey. However, the link leads victims to a “credential harvesting page”, which will try to get a user’s password.

One of the email phishing scams that was detected. Image: Avanan

Avanan said it expects phishing attacks like this to “spread like wildfire” during the Prime Day period and encouraged both users and companies to be on alert.

“Impersonating a brand is one of the classic social engineering tactics out there,” Avanan said. “Impersonating perhaps the world’s most recognisable brand is a sure-fire way to get at least some people to engage.”

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