Microsoft, DHL and LinkedIn were the most popular brand names used in phishing attacks

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Throughout 2020 experts saw a rise in the number of cybercrime incidents as more workers began working from home.

One of the more popular attack methods used was phishing according to f5 Labs. The threat intelligence firm reported a 15 percent increase in phishing incidents in 2020 compared to 2019.

In order to lure victims into a false sense of security, cybercriminals will often make use of well-known and trusted brands in a bid to get folks to click links they might otherwise not.

Check Point Software recently published its Brand Phishing Report for Q4 2020 and it has shed some light on the most brand names most popular among cybercriminals.

Microsoft is by far the most popular brand name used followed by DHL though it is an incredibly long margin. You might want to treat mails from the following brands with a bit more suspicion.

Brand Percentage of brand phishing attempts globally
Microsoft 43%
DHL 18%
LinkedIn 6%
Amazon 5%
Rakuten 4%
Google 2%
Paypal 2%
Chase 2%
Yahoo 1%

In the case of Microsoft and DHL, Check Point reports that in December and November respectively, phishing campaigns designed to steal user credentials were discovered.

Check Point suggests that the festive season would’ve provided a good cover for criminals using DHL as a brand to impersonate.

As working from home orders show no signs of changing, we urge you to maintain an air of scepticism regarding emails that you aren’t expecting or that seem to good to be true.

Where possible confirm emails were sent by the brand claiming to have sent them and we urge you to make use of multi-factor authentication so that in the event your password is compromised, there is an additional layer of protection.


[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.