Apple is the brand most imitated in phishing attacks

Phishing

A new study from Check Point Research highlights the brands which are most frequently imitated by criminals in attempts to steal individuals' personal information or payment credentials.

The Brand Phishing Report for the first quarter of this year shows Apple was the brand most frequently imitated, up from seventh place in the final quarter of 2019.

The report shows 10 percent of all brand phishing attempts related to Apple (up from two percent in Q4 2019), as bad actors sought to capitalize on its powerful brand recognition. Netflix is in second spot with nine percent of all phishing attempts related to the company, in part due to the increase in people accessing the service during the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile the Chase Bank brand rose by three percent from Q4 2019 to take sixth place, with five percent of all phishing attempts seeking to exploit this brand.

The industry sectors most likely to be targeted by brand phishing are technology, followed by banking and media. This illustrates a broad spread of some of the best-known and most used consumer sectors, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic and associated quarantine, when individuals are grappling with remote working technology, potential changes to finances, and an increase in the use of home entertainment services such as streaming.

"Cybercriminals continue to exploit users by adopting highly sophisticated phishing attempts via emails, web and mobile applications purporting to be from well-recognized brands which they know will be in high demand at the moment, whether that’s a high profile product launch or just generally tapping into behavioral changes we’ve seen during the Coronavirus pandemic," says Maya Horowitz, director, threat intelligence and research, products at Check Point. "Phishing will continue to be a growing threat in the coming months, especially as criminals continue to exploit the fears and needs of people using essential services from their homes. As always, we encourage users to be vigilant and cautious when divulging personal data."

You can read more about the findings on the Check Point blog.

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