Retail giant, Walmart, ranks first in list of brands most likely to be imitated in phishing attempts

Retail giant, Walmart, ranks first in list of brands most likely to be imitated in phishing attempts

Check Point Research (CPR), the threat intelligence arm of Check Point Software Technologies and a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions globally, has published its Brand Phishing Report for Q1 2023. The report highlights the brands that were most frequently imitated by cybercriminals in their attempts to steal individuals’ personal information or payment credentials during January, February and March 2023.

Multinational retail giant, Walmart, topped the ranking last quarter, accounting for 16% of all attempts and climbing from 13th place in Q4 2022. This is due to a significant phishing campaign urging victims to click on a malicious survey link, relating to ‘the supply system collapse’. Meanwhile, DHL held on to second place, appearing in 13% of phishing events, closely followed by Microsoft with 12% during the quarter. Overall, the technology sector was the most imitated industry, followed by shipping and retail.

The latest report also highlights how threat actors are leveraging organisations in the finance sector to steal account details. Bank Raiffeisen made the list for the first time to the 8th place. In the Raiffeisen phishing campaign, which accounted for 3.6% of phishing attacks last quarter, recipients were encouraged to click on a malicious link and to ensure the accounts security against any fraudulent activity. Once submitted, those details would then be stolen by the attacker.

“Criminal groups orchestrate phishing campaigns to get as many people to part with their personal data as possible,” said Omer Dembinsky, Data Group Manager at Check Point Software. “In some cases, attacks are designed to obtain account information, as seen with the Raiffeisen campaigns. Others are deployed to steal payment details, which we witnessed with popular streaming service, Netflix.”

He added: “The best defence against phishing threats, as ever, is knowledge. Employees should be given appropriate training to spot suspicious traits such as misspelled domains, typos, incorrect dates and other details that can expose a malicious email or link.”

In a brand phishing attack, criminals try to imitate the official website of a well-known brand by using a similar domain name or URL and a webpage design that resembles the genuine site. The link to the fake website can be sent to targeted individuals by email or text message, a user can be redirected during web browsing or it may be triggered from a fraudulent mobile application. The fake website often contains a form intended to steal users’ credentials, payment details or other personal information.

Top phishing brands in Q1 2023

Below are the top brands ranked by its overall appearance in brand phishing attempts:

  1. 1.   Walmart (relating to 16% of all phishing attacks globally)
  2. 2.   DHL (13%)
  3. 3.   Microsoft (12%)
  4. LinkedIn (6%)
  5. 5.   FedEx (4.9%)
  6. Google (4.8%)
  7. Netflix (4%)
  8. Raiffeisen (3.6%)
  9. PayPal (3.5%)
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