New Report Unveils the Brand Names Most Often Impersonated by Phishers

The new Vade Secure report unveiled the top 25 commonly impersonated brands in phishing attacks. The Phishers’ Favorite report for Q4 of 2019 stated that PayPal remains the most frequently impersonated label in phishing attacks, with 11,392 identified phishing web addresses in quarter 4. For two successive quarters, PayPal is leading the list. Recognition of PayPal phishing URLs went up 23% year-over-year and the detection rate of new PayPal phishing web addresses is 124 a day.

There was a growth in phishing URL identifications impersonating Facebook. The social media giant leaped to 2nd while Microsoft is Third and Netflix is Fourth. Facebook phishing URL identifications increased by 358.8% in Q4 of 2018.

Although Microsoft is in 3rd place on the whole, it is the most frequently impersonated brand name in company phishing attacks. Microsoft at this time has over 200 million Office 365 enterprise users who are targeted by attackers to get their Office 365 information. Office 365 accounts could include lots of sensitive information and could be employed to execute spear-phishing attacks on associates and other personnel within the company.

A quite prominent change in quarter 4 was a huge growth in phishing web addresses impersonating WhatsApp, which prompted the Microsoft-run instant messaging platform to jump to rank 5. The 5,020 detected phishing web addresses in quarter 4 reflect a 13,467.6% rise when compared to quarter 3 of 2019.

The WhatsApp phishing URL identifications were the major reason why the percent share of phishing web addresses for social media brand names grew from 13.1% in quarter 3 to 24.1% in quarter 4. The top 10 was completed with Bank of America in #6, succeeded by CIBC at #7, Desjardins at #8, Apple at #9 and Amazon at #10. There was likewise a large increase in phishing web addresses impersonating Instagram, which increased by 187.1% in quarter 4.

Companies in the financial industry were the most commonly impersonated in quarter 4 for the second consecutive quarter. Though phishers do impersonate big banking companies, Vade Secure says that phishers are presently favoring smaller financial companies, which might not have tough security measures in place to identify brand name impersonation.

Vade Secure claims there was considerable growth in phishing attacks impersonating note services like Evernote and OneNote, as well as growth in counterfeit SharePoint and OneDrive notices that go to web pages hosting phishing kits.