Microsoft, WhatsApp and DHL are the top phishing targets

The Microsoft brand accounted for 20 percent of all phishing attempts in the fourth quarter, up from 29 percent in the third quarter

New Delhi: Global logistics and distribution company DHL, Microsoft and WhatsApp are the top brands often impersonated by cybercriminals in their attempts to steal personal data or payment information from individuals, a new report showed on Monday.

During the October-December (Q4) period of 2021, global logistics and distribution company DHL ended Microsoft’s long-standing reign as the brand most commonly impersonated by cybercriminals attempting to steal credentials or deploy malware via sophisticated phishing techniques.

According to Check Point Research’s Brand Phishing Report, 23 percent of all brand phishing attempts were related to DHL, up from just 9 percent in the previous quarter.

The Microsoft brand accounted for 20 percent of all phishing attempts in the fourth quarter, up from 29 percent in the third quarter.

FedEx also appeared in the top 10 list for the first time in Q4 2021.

“Our most recent Q4 report also reiterated the continued impersonation of social media brands in phishing scams, with WhatsApp ranking third behind DHL and Microsoft in a global list of top target brands,” the report reads.

WhatsApp, owned by Meta (formerly Facebook), moved up from sixth to third place, representing 11 percent of all phishing attempts worldwide.

In a brand phishing attack, criminals try to impersonate the official website of a well-known brand by using a similar domain name or URL and webpage design as the real website.

The link to the fake website can be sent to targeted individuals via emails or SMS, redirect a user while browsing the web, or triggered by a rogue mobile application.

The fake website often contains a form that aims to steal login credentials, payment details or other personal information from users.

Other brands in Check Point Research’s top 10 list include Google, LinkedIn, Amazon, Roblox, Paypal and Apple.

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