Phishing Attacks Surge By 173% In Q3, 2023; Malware Threats Soar By 110%

Surge in Phishing ThreatsA new report from Vade Secure has found that phishing attacks rose by 173% in the third quarter of 2023, while malware threats have increased by 110%. 

“While hackers were busy throughout Q3, they were most active in August, sending more than 207.3 million phishing emails, nearly double the amount from July,” the researchers write. “September was the second most active month for phishing (172.6 million emails), followed by July (113.4 million emails).”

Vade notes that Facebook and Microsoft remained the most commonly impersonated brands in Q3 2023.

“Trends come and go, but Facebook and Microsoft have proven to be perennial favorites among hackers. Both brands have been the #1 or #2 most impersonated since 2020,” the researchers write.

“While Q3 2023 didn’t deviate much from the trend, it was exceptional for different reasons. Facebook was not only the most impersonated brand of the quarter (16,657 URLs), but it also experienced a 104% and 169% increase in phishing URLs compared to Q1 and Q2 2023, respectively (8,141 and 6,192). In this one quarter, Facebook saw more than 50% of its 2022 total (25,551)....Facebook also accounted for more phishing URLs than the next seven most spoofed brands combined (16,657 vs. 16,432).”

The financial services industry saw the highest number of phishing URLs last quarter.

“All industries saw a significant increase in phishing attacks,” Vade says. “Cloud, social media, and financial services all saw dramatic increases of 127%, 125%, and 121%, respectively. Government experienced the greatest increase of 292%, while e-commerce and logistics also grew by 62%. Only internet/telco experienced a decline (-29%). Overall, financial services accounted for the highest total of phishing URLs, followed by cloud, social media, e-commerce/logistics, internet/telco, and government.”

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Vade Secure has the story.

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