SecurityBrief Asia logo
Asia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

LinkedIn, Microsoft top brands to be faked in phishing attempts

Social media platform LinkedIn has continued its reign as the most imitated brand by cybercriminals, according to Check Point Research.

Check Point Research, the Threat Intelligence arm of Check Point Software Technologies, has published its Brand Phishing Report for Q2 2022.

The report highlights the brands that were most frequently imitated by cybercriminals in their attempts to steal individuals' personal information or payment credentials over the quarter.

The social media platform LinkedIn continued its reign as the most imitated brand after entering the rankings for the first-time in Q1. While its share has dropped slightly; down from 52% in Q1 to 45% of all phishing attempts in Q2, this is still a worrying trend that highlights the ongoing risks facing users of the trusted social media platform. Social networks generally continue to be the most imitated category, followed by technology which, this quarter, took over second place from shipping.

The most striking rise in technology household names being exploited was Microsoft, making up 13% of all brand phishing attempts, more than double the amount in the previous quarter and edging DHL into third place with 12%. Some new brands entering the top 10 were: Adidas, Adobe and HSBC although all on low single digits, these brands will be followed closely by researchers in Q3 for any developments.

The increase in the use of Microsoft related scams is a danger to both individuals and organisations. Once someone has hold of your account login details, they have access to all the applications behind it, such as Teams and SharePoint, as well as the obvious risk of compromise to your Outlook email account. The report highlights a specific example of an Outlook phishing email luring users to a fraudulent Outlook web page with the subject line: “[Action Required] Final Reminder - Verify your OWA Account now”, asking the victim to enter their login credentials.

LinkedIn based phishing campaigns imitated the style of communication of the professional social media platform with malicious emails using subjects like: “You appeared in 8 searches this week” or “You have one new message” or “I'd like to do business with you via LinkedIn.” Although appearing to come from LinkedIn they used an email address that was completely different to that of the brand.

Meanwhile, with the relentless trend to online shopping, it is not surprising that Q2 also saw shipping company DHL being faked in 12% of all phishing attacks. The report specifically references a tracking related phishing scam, with the subject line “Incoming Shipment Notification”, enticing the consumer to click on a malicious link.

“Phishing emails are a prominent tool in every hacker's arsenal as they are fast to deploy and can target millions of users at relatively low cost,” says Omer Dembinsky, data research group manager at Check Point Software.

“They give cybercriminals the opportunity to leverage the reputation of trusted brands to give users a false sense of security that can be exploited to steal personal or commercial information for financial gain," he says.

“The criminals will use any brand with sufficient reach and consumer trust. Hence, we see hackers expanding their activities with the first appearance of Adidas, Adobe, and HSBC in the top 10, The hackers trade on our trust in these brands and that very human instinct for ‘the deal.'

"There's a reason the hackers continue to use brand-based phishing. It works," says Dembinsky.

"So, consumers need to act with caution and look out for tell-tale signs of the fake email, like poor grammar, spelling mistakes or strange domain names," he says.

"If in doubt head for the brand's own website rather than clicking any links.

A brand phishing attack not only takes advantage of our implicit trust in a familiar brand, adopting its brand imagery often using a similar URL, it also plays on human emotions, like the fear of missing out on a discount. The sense of urgency this creates leads consumers to click in haste without first checking if the email is from the brand in question. This could lead to them inadvertently downloading malware or handing over precious personally identifiable information which can give criminals access to their entire online world and potential financial loss.

Top phishing brands in Q2 2022 

LinkedIn (45%)
Microsoft (13%)
DHL (12%)
Amazon (9%)
Apple (3%)
Adidas (2%)
Google (1%)
Netflix (1%)
Adobe (1%)
HSBC (1%)

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cybersecurity
Continuous attack attempts discovered on Atlassian Confluence zero day
Following a coordinated disclosure of a zero-day vulnerability by Volexity in Atlassian Confluence, attackers went wild to exploit it.
Story image
Malware
Mandiant uncovers malware ecosystem deployed on VMware hypervisors and guest systems
Mandiant research has uncovered a novel malware ecosystem that was found deployed on VMware hypervisors and guest systems by an advanced and suspected China nexus threat actor.
Story image
Microsoft
Yubico research finds concerning trends around authentication security practices
A new global survey from Yubico has found that 59% of employees still rely on usernames and passwords as the primary method to authenticate their accounts.
Story image
Malware
Black Lotus Labs discovers new, multipurpose malware
Black Lotus Labs, the threat intelligence team at Lumen, has discovered a new, rapidly growing, multipurpose malware written in the Go programming language.
Story image
Apple
Jamf shows intent to acquire mobile security firm ZecOps
This acquisition positions Jamf to help IT and security teams strengthen their organisation’s mobile security posture.
Story image
Work from home
Jamf showcases new products to simplify and secure work
At the 13th annual Jamf Nation User Conference, the company shared how its continuous product innovation is helping organisations succeed with Apple.
Story image
Network Management
Fortinet introduces enhanced AIOps across its gateways
FortiAIOps builds on Fortinet's rich history of developing artificial intelligence to deliver actionable network insights for self-optimising management.
Story image
Kaspersky
Cybersecurity loopholes prevalent in South East Asia
In terms of the share of vulnerabilities with publicly available exploits, three countries out of top five are located in Southeast Asia.
Story image
Legacy
Trellix enables greater cyber resiliency with extended XDR platform
"Legacy SIEM technology has failed to modernise security operations. We are confident Trellix XDR fills this critical gap.”
Story image
Threat intelligence
Trellix advances threat intelligence with new research centre
Trellix has announced the establishment of the Trellix Advanced Research Center to advance global threat intelligence.
Story image
Cloud Security
75% of AU companies had cloud security incident in past year
According to new Venafi research, complexity is due to increase, as companies plan to host more applications in the cloud.
Story image
Virtual Private Network
95% of organisation rely on VPN as threats continue - report
There is a growing number of VPN-specific security threats and a need for Zero Trust security architecture in enterprise-level organisations.
Story image
Malware
Kaspersky uncovers new malicious malware NullMixer
Kaspersky researchers have uncovered a new malware stealing users credentials, address, credit card data, cryptocurrencies, and accounts.
Story image
Data Protection
99% of security experts unhappy with tokenisation investment
Cybersecurity experts are looking for a solution that provides the strength of tokenisation while removing the friction that has accompanied it in the past.
Story image
Software-as-a-Service
Varonis adds secrets discovery to data classification
The data security firm announces enhancements that detect and remediate overexposed private keys, encryption certificates, API keys, and authentication tokens.
Story image
Phishing
Vectra Protect team finds Microsoft Teams vulnerability
The Vectra Protect team identified a post-exploitation opportunity in August, allowing malicious actors to steal valid user credentials from Microsoft Teams.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Best practices for industrial cyber resilience
Operational technology (OT) security is gaining more attention than ever before, but sufficient understanding of what it takes to prevent breaches is still lacking amongst many organisations.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Ransomware attacks continue to increase, report finds
Nearly a quarter of businesses have suffered a ransomware attack, with a fifth occurring in the past 12 months.
Story image
Enterprise
Delinea shares the importance of PAM, partners and security for modern enterprise
Identity-based security is becoming a crucial tool for modern enterprises as they continue to adapt to different working environments.
Story image
Firewall
Forrester names Akamai as web application firewall leader
"We continually monitor and improve our capabilities to defend customers from new threats, while enabling customers to protect evolving attack surfaces."
Story image
Cloud
How modern IT architectures are moving beyond network visibility
Dealing with multiple cloud providers makes it difficult to identify security threats and performance bottlenecks and troubleshoot issues.
Story image
IT Training
Six ways to transform your cybersecurity training and influence lasting change
If the goal is to win hearts and minds, formal awareness training can fall short and often doesn’t inspire people to care.
Story image
Cybersecurity
StackHawk launches deeper API security test coverage
Expansion of test coverage includes custom scan discovery, custom test scripts and custom test data for REST APIs.
Story image
Edge Security
Security practices for modernising the “spaghetti” of on-premises IT
Many organisations are wondering how to securely modernise their workload, often made up of a “spaghetti” of on-premises applications and management consoles.
Story image
Malware
Decrease in malware volume, but surge in encrypted malware
The Q2 Internet Security Report found office exploits continue to spread more than any other category of malware.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Hybrid cloud security driving need for deep observability
Gigamon is bringing application and network-level intelligence together to help network, security, and cloud IT operations teams eliminate security blind spots.
Story image
Secure Code Warrior
Secure Code Warrior announces Coding Labs innovation
Coding Labs mechanisms allow developers to move from learning to applying secure coding knowledge more efficiently, leading to fewer code vulnerabilities.
Story image
Data Protection
Cloudflare brings Data Localisation Suite to more APAC businesses
This allows any business in these countries to service their data locally while benefiting from the speed, security, and scalability of Cloudflare’s global network.
Story image
Mobile Device Management
How to easily scale your mobile workforce and devices for the peak shopping season
Retailers are under constant pressure to streamline processes and become more efficient while looking for ways to improve customer satisfaction levels.
Story image
Ransomware
Delinea updates DevOps security, remote access more seamless
New enhancements include development support on the most recent Mac computers and improved secrets' management usability through automation.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Employees unsure who to go to to report security incident
A new study shows more than 20% of the untrained global workforce do not know who to contact during a security breach.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Test your API Security with Infinite API Scanner
The effectiveness of API scanning technology can mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful programming outcomes, and often enterprises and IT leaders struggle to get it right.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Macroeconomic headwinds driving security up priority list
Current macroeconomic headwinds are driving security up enterprise’s priority list and reshaping the hardware Security Module market.
Story image
Cybersecurity
De-risking the innovation cycle – a modern, real-time approach to security
Many organisations see cybersecurity as an inhibitor of innovation, with burdensome protection measures standing in the way of progress and speed.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Fortinet advances AIOps to aid the hybrid workforce
"We’re continuing our commitment to AI innovation by delivering AIOps capabilities across our robust portfolio of enterprise networking technology."
Story image
Malware
Cybereason delivers nation-state level of protection to enterprises
Cybereason has announced new advancements in Cybereason NGAV that deliver nation-state level protection for organisations of all sizes.
Aws Marketplace
Learn how to implement a backup and recovery plan for a new generation of Kubernetes-based modern applications
Link image
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from SearchInform
Val Novoselova joins us today to to discuss new trends in the information security space, and how SearchInform is adapting to some of the new trends we are seeing.
AWS Marketplace
Whitepaper: A practical guide for mitigating risk in today’s modern applications
Link image
Story image
Software-as-a-Service
Enterprises yet to fully commit to cybersecurity - CompTIA
“Digital transformation driven by cloud and mobile adoption requires a new strategic approach to cybersecurity, but this poses significant challenges."
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Ordr improves security and management of connected devices
It has implemented more than 80 integrations within the Ordr Data Lake while adding security enhancements to accelerate zero trust segmentation.