Posted on August 6, 2020 at 5:52 PM
According to a report from Check Point research, Facebook, WhatsApp, Amazon, and Google are the brands that hackers imitate the most to deceive people into sharing their details, personal information, or credentials.
However, Amazon and Google are now the favorites on Hackers’ list of most imitated brands, overtaking Apple.
The two tech giants are the top on the list with 13%, followed by Facebook and WhatsApp at 9%, while Microsoft takes 7%. Apple, which was formerly the most favored target for hackers since the first quarter of the year, sank to 7th place.
Facebook is now the most targeted brand by hackers
Facebook has become the most imitated brand on mobile while Microsoft maintains the top spot in email attacks. WhatsApp, Amazon, and Google were top brands for web-based attacks, comprising 61 % of the entire attacks.
The hackers used a familiar scheme by imitating the website of a popular brand by either using a similar website address or creating a webpage similar to the official website being imitated. Some of the hackers even use both methods to gain the attention of the users who will fall victim to the scheme.
As a result, cybersecurity experts are warning users to be wary of addresses and be mindful of any website asking for their details or information. If they are to visit any website, they should type the authentic address on the address bar and avoid following links from any website, check Point advises.
How the hackers trick victims
The victims are deceived into going to the hacker’s fake website via text message or a phishing email. According to Check Point, sometimes, the fake website pops up during browsing or through a fraudulent mobile application.
Once the victim reaches the fake website, the plot for the hackers is to deceive them to enter the information into a form. The goal of the hacker is to steal sensitive personal information from the victims.
Check Point said the simple nature of the scheme should not have been yielding results for the hackers. But the scheme works because some of the victims make mistakes and are in a hurry, so they don’t read the information carefully.
Sometimes, the victims think they are too smart to fall for such scans, thereby overlooking very simple things
And sometime, the attacker may prove very smart and do a good job of imitating the website of a trusted brand, making it extremely difficult to discover by the intending victim. These are popular websites visited by users without a second thought regularly.
Also, email seems to be a very common way to get users to act without thinking too much. That’s probably why email phishing exploits are on the increase. This has been more prevalent as many people have been forced to work from home, acknowledged by Check Point researchers.
Manager of threat intelligence at Check Point, Lotem Finkelstein, buttressed this point while speaking to Fox News yesterday.
“As we are all forced to work from home, the inbox is a prime attack method for hackers,” he pointed out.
He reiterated that users should think twice before opening a document in an email or clicking on a link from an unsolicited website.
Staying safe from hackers
To stay safe, Lotem advised users not to click on promotional links in emails. Rather, they should utilize the search box to search for the brand on Google, and then go to the ideal website from Google’s result page.
Also, he advised users to stay away from special offers. For instance, the user may be deceived that there is a huge discount on a new iPhone, which is usually a fake promise. Users should also be watchful and flag off grammatical or spelling errors in websites and services. Such errors may likely not be made by the original brand, Check Point researchers pointed out.