Brands Are Spoofed In 83% Of Spear Phishing Emails: Study

Brand impersonation is now the tool in 83% of spear-phishing attacks and sextortion scams is the tool for 10%, according to Spear Phishing: Top Threats and Trends. a new report from Barracuda.

In addition, Gmail is the preferred service for sending one out of three business email compromise attacks.

In other highlights, Barracuda found that:

  • Impersonating Microsoft is a popular technique for taking over accounts.
  • Financial institutions are impersonated in almost one out of five phishing attacks. Finance department employees are commonly targeted.
  • Most sextortion subject lines contain a security alert of some form.
  • Attackers often place the victim’s email address in the subject line.
  • Over 70% of BEC subject lines attempt to establish rapport or urgency, with many implying that the topic has already been discussed.
  • Scammers often change the display name on Gmail and other email accounts to make the email look like it came from a fellow employee. This is especially convincing to someone on a mobile device. 
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