Report: Microsoft the Most-Imitated Brand by Phishers

Security researchers at Check Point this week found that most phishing attacks are trying to fool end users by spoofing the Microsoft brand.

The security solutions firm recently published its analysis of the top brands used in phishing attacks in the third quarter. According to Check Point, Microsoft has the dubious distinction of being the "most imitated" company, followed by DHL and Google.

The list is as follows:

  1. Microsoft (related to 19% of all brand phishing attempts globally)
  2. DHL (9%)
  3. Google (9%)
  4. PayPal (6%)
  5. Netflix (6%)
  6. Facebook (5%)
  7. Apple (5%)
  8. Whatsapp (5%)
  9. Amazon (4%)
  10. Instagram (4%)

Microsoft topped the list when the phishing attempt was made using e-mails, as well as when the phishing attempt happened via a Web site. The aim of these phishing attacks is typically to steal user credentials.

The Microsoft brand gets used the most for these phishing attacks because of the work-from-home scenario that's common now during the COVID-19 pandemic. The phishing efforts typically try to get users to reset their Microsoft Office 365 credentials, explained Maya Horowitz, Check Point's director of threat intelligence and research. 

"As always, we encourage users to be cautious when divulging personal data and credentials to business applications, and to think twice before opening email attachments or links, especially emails that claim to be from companies, such as Microsoft or Google, who are most likely to be impersonated," Horowitz said in a released statement.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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