With the pandemic crisis that we are facing today, the Internet has become a necessity. The government’s lockdown and social distancing force us to relay our everyday activities such as shopping, financial transaction, and communication to online websites. The increased usage of the Internet leads to more cyber-attacks that target individuals and companies via fraudulent phishing websites.
According to research, approximately 18,000 phishing websites are developed daily. The cybercriminals took advantage of the situation and are continuously abusing the company’s intellectual property to profit from malicious actions. They are using legitimate platforms of hosting companies and mainstream ISPs to publish their fraudulent websites.
What is Phishing and Phishing Websites?
Phishing is one of the frequent fraudulent activities that attackers use to steal login credentials and credit card numbers from users. It is proven to be the most successful and effective technique to steal financial information. It uses a social engineering attack that targets a victim by impersonating a company and is duped into opening a malicious link that will lead to the phishing website to capture the sensitive information. In the second quarter of 2020, researchers detected a vast number of phishing websites worldwide. A total of 1.7 million phishing websites are newly created. And this makes a 13.3% increase from the data of Q1 2020. With the recent data of Q3, there is a massive increase in fraudulent activities aiming for payment transactions, online shopping, and survey for free merchandise.
To be safe from phishing attacks, a user must be able to detect a phishing website. Before providing sensitive information online, the user needs to take safety precautions. Precautions such as checking the website domain, hostname, URL, being wary of the non-secure sites with messages “Connection is not secure,” generic .com domains, errors in the spelling, grammar, and design posted on the website, suspicious pop-up windows, SSL/TLS certificate and check for the website security trust seal.
Research says that this year of 2020, there are roughly 306.4 billion emails sent and received daily. Therefore, cybercriminals are using email as a vector of phishing attacks. The survey declares that 91% of successful cyber-attacks come from a phishing email. Attackers create accounts and use free and trusted email providers such as Google and Yahoo to execute phishing email attacks. Fake mailers are also being utilized to perform malicious activities.
BE RESPONSIBLE AND PROTECT YOUR COMPANY
Whether a small or a large company, there is a significant probability that you will be a target of phishing and fraudulent websites. Brand impersonation is a common attack that will imitate the company to lure the user into responding or disclosing their sensitive information. And it is a company’s responsibility to monitor and protect their brand from any type of cyber-attacks.