Woburn, MA – March 12, 2019 – Kaspersky Lab has released a new report revealing that the company’s anti-phishing technologies prevented more than 482 million attempts to visit fraudulent web pages during 2018. This is a two-fold increase over 2017, when 236 million attempts were blocked, indicating a significant rise in the popularity of phishing attacks.
Phishing is one of the most versatile types of social engineering attacks. Information stolen through this type of threat can range from financial details to social media credentials, or attacks can trick users into opening a malicious attachment or link. Phishing attacks, especially of the malicious link or attachment variety, are a popular initial infection vector for targeted attacks on organizations.
The rapid growth of phishing attacks in 2018 is part of an ongoing trend. In both 2017 and 2016, Kaspersky Lab observed a 15 percent increase in phishing over the previous year; however, the 2018 figure marks a new peak for this threat.
Phishing hit the financial sector especially hard, with 44 percent of attacks detected by Kaspersky Lab technologies aimed at banks, payment systems and online shops. The country with the highest percentage of users attacked by phishing was in Brazil, with 28 percent of all users hit. Portugal, which was the seventh most attacked country in 2017, is now ranked second, with 23 percent of users facing a phishing threat in 2018. Australia moved from second to third, with 21 percent affected.
“The rise in the number of phishing attacks could be influenced by the increased efficiency of social engineering methods enticing users to visit fraudulent pages,” said Tatyana Sidorina, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab. “2018 was marked by the active exploitation of new schemes and tricks, such as scam-notifications, along with the perfection of old ones, such as the traditional scams around Black Friday or national holidays. All in all, scammers are becoming better at taking advantage of important occasions happening around the world, like the FIFA world football championship.”
Other findings of the spam and phishing in 2018 report include*:
Percentage of Kaspersky Lab users in each country, on whose computers the anti-phishing system was triggered in 2018
Kaspersky Lab experts advise the following tips to protect against phishing threats:
More details on spam and phishing in 2018 are available on Securelist.com.
*Percentages have been simplified for easier reading.
About Kaspersky Lab
Kaspersky Lab is a global cybersecurity company, which has been operating in the market for over 21 years. Kaspersky Lab’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into next generation security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com.