Phishing continues to target big businesses and exploit COVID-19 fears in Q2 2021

Spam as a share of world mail site visitors rose, and attackers have began to adapt their scams to different languages to achieve wider audiences.

Email / envelope with black document and skull icon. Virus, malware, email fraud, e-mail spam, phishing scam, hacker attack concept. Vector illustration

Picture: Vladimir Obradovic, Getty Pictures/iStockphoto

Regardless of an increase in international spam numbers, adoption of latest languages by phishing attackers, new rip-off sorts and a shift in essentially the most generally impersonated enterprise sort to phish folks, Kaspersky’s Q2 2021 quarterly spam report is described by its authors as “not delivering any surprises.” 

“In Q2, as we anticipated, cybercriminals continued to hunt for company account credentials and exploit the COVID-19 theme,” the report stated. 

SEE: Safety incident response coverage (TechRepublic Premium)

That is to not say there wasn’t something truly fascinating in Q2 phishing and spam statistics: The share of e-mail that is junk is as much as 46.56% after bottoming out in March 2021, and international web portals have displaced on-line shops because the enterprise sort mostly impersonated by cybercriminals in phishing campaigns.

Scammers have additionally been cleverly exploiting pandemic-related mail and provide chain disruption to lure victims. One web site that Kaspersky uncovered presupposed to be a Russian Publish web site the place guests might bid on undelivered packages primarily based not on content material, however by weight. Winners have been advised they’d obtain their package deal, which by no means arrived. 

Messages claiming postage was owed, or an order cost hadn’t been accomplished, have been generally seen as effectively, and customarily contained attachments loaded with malware that claimed to be an bill. These messages, particularly, surged in Q2, with many attackers branching out into new languages to seek out extra victims. 

Along with exploiting pandemic-related mail slowdowns, attackers have additionally been scamming the general public with pretend COVID-19 grant emails. Customers are requested to offer financial institution card particulars as a way to disburse funds, which by no means arrive. 

Additionally frequent in Q2 2021 have been pretend attachments that ship enterprise customers to pretend Office365 or different enterprise software program login portals, pretend on-line film streaming scams and funding and property-related scams, which Kaspersky described as “a curious takeaway” as these assaults spiked in Q2. 

Attackers are additionally getting good in how they aim sure scams. WhatsApp, bought by Fb in 2014, was extra tightly built-in with Fb in early 2021, and scammers rapidly tailored to that change. Chat or message scams that invite customers to speak with “lovely strangers” redirect customers to a Fb login phishing web page. Emails to WhatsApp customers have additionally been discovered to comprise malware that may have an effect on cell gadgets. 

The most effective factor customers can do is be cautious of any surprising emails and be very cautious about clicking on any e-mail attachments or hyperlinks—go to the web site straight,” stated Kaspersky senior internet analyst Tatyana Shcherbakova.

SEE: Learn how to handle passwords: Greatest practices and safety ideas (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

As for what to anticipate in Q3 2021, Kaspersky stated that companies will proceed to be the most well-liked targets, and that COVID-19 scams will proceed to hold round in a single type or one other. The report additionally predicts an increase in vacation-related scams because the journey season continues, and Olympic Video games-themed scams within the wake of the Tokyo video games. 

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