It’s estimated that phishing is the starting point of over 90% of all attempted cyber-attacks, and Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report shows that nearly one-third (32%) of actual data breaches involved phishing activity.

What’s more, phishing was present in 78% of cyber-espionage incidents and the installation and use of backdoors to networks.

‘Brand phishing’ involves the attacker imitating an official website of a known brand by using a similar domain or URL, and usually a web page similar to the original website.

The link to the deceptive website can be sent via email or text message, a user can be redirected during web browsing, or it may be triggered from a fraudulent mobile application.

In many cases the website contains a form intended to steal credentials, personal information or payments.

Check Point Research’s latest Brand Phishing Report for Q2 2020 shows that Google and Amazon were the most imitated brands in phishing attempts, while Apple (the leading phishing brand in Q1) fell to seventh place from the top spot in Q1. The total number of Brand Phishing detections remains stable compared to Q1 2020.

Email phishing exploits were the second most common type after web-based exploits, compared to Q1 where email was third. The reason for this change may be the easing of global Covid-19 related restrictions, which have seen businesses re-opening and employees returning to work.

The top 10 brands ranked by their overall appearance in brand phishing events during Q2 2020 are Google, Amazon, WhatApp, Facebook, Microsoft, Outlook, Netflix, Apple, Huawei and PayPal.

The top brand industry sectors are technology, banking and social networks.

The top phishing brands per vector are as follows:

* Email (24% of attacks) – Microsoft, Outlook, Unicredit;

* Web (61% of attacks) – Google, Amazon, WhatsApp; and

* Mobile (15% of attacks) – Facebook, WhatsApp, PayPal.