iPhone owners rejoice, but Android and Gmail users just got some seriously bad news
Apple customers can breathe a sigh of relief. After being named as the number one target for cyber criminals by prominent security firm Check Point last year, iDevice owners have fallen down the Top 10 ranking in the latest report, which was published earlier this week. But while Apple customers might not be in the sights of hackers …those with Google Accounts, Chromecasts, or Android smartphones or tablets need to pay attention.
That’s because Google customers have now been named as the most at-risk in the latest Check Point report.
The search firm outranked Amazon, Facebook, Apple, WhatsApp and other household names. In total, Google now accounts for some 13 percent of all phishing attempts, Check Point claims.
For those who don’t know, phishing describes the technique of pushing people to fraudulent online form designed to siphon personal information, like login credentials or credit and debit card details. These can take the form of spoof login pages for legitimate services, like Gmail, or iCloud. Text messages are also sometimes used to push people into volunteering their personal information – by attempting to panic them about a problem with their account, unexplained purchase made with your payment details, an offer that seems too good to be true, or spoof competition.
According to the team at Check Point, “‘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.
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“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 7th 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 complete Top 10 of brands being used by cyber criminals to target users with phishing attempts –
The best way to protect yourself from phishing scams is to avoid clicking on links sent via email, social media, or text. Instead, use the bookmarked links saved on your web browser to navigate back to your online banking login, Google account, or Amazon shopping basket. A Google search can also be a good way to find the correct URL.
It’s also worth keeping an eye on the email address behind the email. After all, it’s unlikely that Google will send you a message about an important security breach on your account from a Hotmail account. It’s not impossible, but seems unlikely.
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