Phishing Frenzy: Microsoft and Google Most Mimicked Brands in Cyber Scams

Phishing StudentMicrosoft and Google were the most frequently impersonated brands in phishing attacks during the first quarter of 2024, according to a report from Check Point. 

Microsoft-themed phishing attempts accounted for 38% of attacks in Q1 2024, while Google came in at a distant second with 11%. Notably, phishing attacks impersonating vacation rental company Airbnb have spiked over the past few weeks.

“In a remarkable turn of events, Airbnb made its debut in the top brands list, securing the 10th position,” the researchers write.

“This impressive climb is likely influenced by the Easter season, a period associated with increased travel and holiday bookings. The seasonal surge in vacation planning could have amplified Airbnb’s visibility and appeal, particularly among travelers seeking unique accommodations.”

Overall, most phishing attacks last quarter impersonated brands in the technology industry.

“The Technology sector remained unchanged as the most impersonated industry in brand phishing, followed by Social Networks and Banking,” Check Point says.

“The technology brands lead in phishing attacks, likely due to their widespread usage in corporate and remote work environments, making them a lucrative entry point into company assets. In many cases they are used with the employee’s internal credentials, and their exposure poses an even larger risk than the disclosure of an individual’s personal details used in social media, shipping, or banking platforms.”

Check Point concludes, “In light of the persistent threat posed by brand impersonation, it is imperative for users to maintain a heightened level of vigilance and exercise caution when engaging with emails or messages purportedly from trusted brands. By remaining vigilant and adopting proactive cybersecurity practices, individuals can mitigate the risk of falling victim to cybercriminal tactics.”

KnowBe4 empowers your workforce to make smarter security decisions every day. Over 65,000 organizations worldwide trust the KnowBe4 platform to strengthen their security culture and reduce human risk.

Check Point has the story.

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