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DHL, Microsoft, WhatsApp Top Targeted Brands for Phishing: Report

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Global logistics and distribution companies DHL, Microsoft, and WhatsApp are the topmost brands being frequently imitated by cyber-criminals in their attempts to steal individuals’ personal information or payment credentials, a new report showed on Monday.

In the October-December period (Q4) of 2021, global logistics and distribution company DHL ended Microsoft’s long-standing reign as the brand most frequently imitated by cybercriminals in attempts to steal credentials or deploy malware via sophisticated phishing techniques

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

The Microsoft brand, meanwhile, accounted for 20 percent of all phishing attempts in Q4 versus 29 percent in Q3.

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

“Our latest Q4 report also reinforced the continued imitation of social media brands in phishing scams, with WhatsApp coming third behind DHL and Microsoft in a global list of top targeted brands,” said the report.

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

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 web page design to 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.

Other brands in the top 10 list by Check Point Research are Google, LinkedIn, Amazon, Roblox, Paypal, and Apple.

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