Based on research by Abnormal Security and shared by Atlas VPN, Microsoft emerged as the leading brand mimicked by cybercriminals in 2023. The tech giant was targeted in more than 650,000 imitation attempts, making up 4.31% of phishing activities across 350 brands.
Some other reputable companies were present in the top three, including one of the most well-established and widely used digital payment systems, PayPal (1.05%) and social media giant Facebook (0.68%).
Cloud-based electronic signature technology provider DocuSign (0.48%) ranked fourth, while financial and business management company Intuit (0.39%) and the world’s leading logistics company DHL (0.34%) landed in fifth and sixth place, respectively.
Other brands among the top ten include computer security software company McAfee (0.32%), leading internet search engine Google (0.30%), the world’s largest online retailer Amazon (0.27%), and the largest database management company worldwide, Oracle (0.21%).
By impersonating well-known brands like the ones listed above, cybercriminals reliably leverage the victim’s trust and undermine their caution, making it easier to trick them into giving up account credentials or exposing them to malware via malicious links.
Scammers often gather public details from company websites and social media profiles, identifying individuals with access to critical data and login details. They can then craft messages that appear to be from the mimicked brand to extract information from these individuals.
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