Some Criticism of Microsoft? Warranted or Not?

May 13, 2022

Microsoft’s LinkedIn comes out on top—in one regard, anyway. IT-Online reports, “LinkedIn the Brand Most Imitated for Phishing.” In its Brand Phishing Report for the first quarter of 2022, Check Point Research found the professional network was imitated in more than half of all phishing attempts during January, February, and March. The write-up tells us:

“Dominating the rankings for the first time ever, LinkedIn accounted for more than half (52%) of all phishing attempts during the quarter. This represents a dramatic 44% uplift from the previous quarter, where the professional networking site was in fifth position accounting for only 8% of phishing attempts. LinkedIn overtook DHL as the most targeted brand, which is now in second position and accounted for 14% of all phishing attempts during the quarter.”

Social media platforms in general jumped in popularity as phishing spots. Shipping companies like DHL, which became attractive targets with the rise in e-commerce, are now in second place. Apparently different types of companies make juicy bait for different kinds of attacks. The article quotes Check Point’s Omer Dembinsky:

“Some attacks will attempt to gain leverage over individuals or steal their information, such as those we’re seeing with LinkedIn. Others will be attempts to deploy malware on company networks, such as the fake emails containing spoof carrier documents that we’re seeing with the likes of Maersk.”

Of course, a phishing attack can only work if someone falls for it. Do not be that person. Dembinsky advises:

“The best defense against phishing threats, as ever, is knowledge. Employees in particular should be trained to spot suspicious anomalies such as misspelled domains, typos, incorrect dates and other details that can expose a malicious email or text message. LinkedIn users in particular should be extra vigilant over the course of the next few months.”

In Check Point’s list of the top ten companies to find themselves on phishing hooks, LinkedIn and DH are followed by Google (at 7%), Microsoft (6%), FedEx (6%), WhatsApp (4%), Amazon (2%), Maersk (1%), AliExpress (0.8%), and Apple (0.8%).

Cynthia Murrell, May 13, 2022

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