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Top 10 Most Imitated Brands by Cybercriminals

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Jenna Delport
Jenna Delport
I’m a tech writer, world traveller, avocado-eater and dog lover, not always in that order.

When it comes to phishing attacks, cybercriminals often try to imitate the official website of a well-known brand – they do this 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.

A recent report published by Check Point highlights the brands which were most frequently imitated by criminals in their attempts to steal individuals’ personal information or payment credentials during Q1 of this year.

The 10 top brands are ranked by their overall appearance in phishing attempts:

10. Amazon

9. eBay

8. Microsoft

7. Facebook

6. Chase

5. PayPal

4. WhatsApp

3. Yahoo

2. Netflix

  1. Apple

Apple was the brand most frequently targeted brand by cybercriminals, soaring from seventh place in 2019 to the top of the rankings. 10% of all brand phishing attempts related to the technology giant, as bad actors sought to capitalize on its powerful brand recognition.

Netflix took the second spot with 9% of all phishing attempts related to the company, perhaps in part due to the increase in people accessing the service during the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Chase Bank brand rose by 3% from Q4 2019 to take the sixth position, with 5% of all phishing attempts seeking to exploit this brand.

According to the report, the most likely industry to be targeted by brand phishing was technology, followed by banking and then media. This illustrates a broad spread of some of the best-known and most-used consumer sectors.

This rings particularly true during the coronavirus pandemic and associated quarantine, whereby individuals are grappling with remote working technology, potential changes to finances, and an uplift in home entertainment services such as streaming.

Edited by Jenna Delport
Follow Jenna Delport on Twitter

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