Crédit Agricole, Facebook, and Microsoft ‘most impersonated brands in URL phishing attacks’

Aug 13, 2021 | Regulation

Crédit Agricole, a French financial group, was the most imitated brand in phishing attacks in H1 2021, followed by Facebook, and Microsoft.

Criminals continue to impersonate well-known brands to trick people into giving up their personal information.

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, Crédit Agricole, a French financial group, was by far the most imitated brand in H1 2021 worldwide. The brand was linked with 17,755 unique phishing URLs, followed by social media giant Facebook with 17,338 and Microsoft with 12,777.

Key findings:
• Crédit Agricole brand was used in 17,755 phishing attacks in H1 2021 — more than any other brand.
• Facebook occupies the second spot on the list of most impersonated brands in phishing with 17,338 attacks, followed by Microsoft with 12,777 attacks.
• Other brands in the top five include WhatsApp with 8,727 phishing attacks and La Banque Postale with 7,180 attacks.
• Financial service brands made up 36% of URL phishing attacks in H1 2021.
• Social media brand impersonation accounted for over a quarter (26%) of all brand phishing attacks in H1 2021.

Multi-platform messaging service provider WhatsApp is the second social media brand to make the top ten list. It was taken advantage of in 8,727 phishing attacks. Meanwhile, French bank La Banque Postale occupies the fifth spot with 7,180 attacks.

Other brands in the top ten list include Orange (4,047), Amazon (3,501), Comcast (3,116), PayPal (2,601), and Chase bank (2,537).

Financial brands were criminals’ favorite

Phishing efforts involving financial industry brands were the most frequent. They accounted for 36% of URL phishing attacks in H1 2021.

Ruth Cizynski, the cybersecurity researcher and writer at Atlas VPN, shares her thoughts on the phishing attack trends:

“Imitating well-known and trusted brands in attempts to steal people’s personal information is a common tactic among cybercriminals. Due to the rise in digital payments and growing reliance on online banking during the pandemic, financial service brands were particularly popular in phishing attacks.”

Social Media companies were also heavily impacted. Social media brand impersonation accounted for over a quarter (26%) of all brand phishing attacks in the first half of this year.

Other affected sectors include cloud (17%), e-commerce and logistics (11%), internet and telecommunications (9%), and government (1%).

To read the full report, click here

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