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‘Cybercriminals posed as Microsoft, Google for most attacks in Q1’

Microsoft, OpenAI raise $2 million fund to fight AI misuse

Microsoft and Google were the most imitated brands for phishing attacks in the first quarter of 2024, according to Check Point Research.

In its latest Brand Phishing Ranking for Q1 2024, the threat intelligence arm of Checkpoint Software Technologies Limited highlighted that the brands were the most frequently imitated by cybercriminals in their attempts to deceive individuals and steal personal information or payment credentials.

“Microsoft has continued to be the most imitated brand in phishing attacks, accounting for 38 percent of all brand phishing attempts. Google made a modest advance to the second spot, capturing 11 percent of attempted brand phishing attacks, up slightly from its previous third-place position.

“Similarly, LinkedIn also saw a rise to third place, with 11 percent of such attempts, marking a notable increase from the previous quarter. Finally, Apple also saw 5 percent of attempts within the same time,” the firm said.

It noted that the technology sector remained unchanged as the most impersonated industry in brand phishing, followed by social networks and banking.

It explained that technology brands led in phishing attacks, likely due to their widespread usage in corporate and remote work environments, making them a lucrative entry point into company assets.

Omer Dembinsky, Data Group Manager at Check Point Software, emphasised the threat of these phishing attacks, stating, “In light of the persistent threat posed by brand impersonation, users must maintain a heightened level of vigilance and exercise caution when engaging with emails or messages purportedly from trusted brands. By remaining vigilant and adopting proactive cybersecurity practices, individuals can mitigate the risk of falling victim to cybercriminal tactics.”