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REPUTATIONAL RISKS

Scammers most likely to impersonate DHL, says brand phishing report

By our News Team | 2022

Criminals may be using DHL’s brand name to target online shoppers as we head towards Black Friday and Christmas.

Brands constantly face a range of reputational risks – including being misrepresented in phishing attacks, which makes customers wary of engaging with a brand’s digital marketing and online shopping campaigns for fear of being compromised.

The newly released quarterly Brand Phishing Report for Q3 2022, published by US-based Check Point Research, highlights the brands which were most frequently imitated by criminals in their attempts to steal individuals’ personal information or payment credentials during July, August and September.

Reputational Risks

Photo by NMOS332 via Wikimedia Commons

While social media network LinkedIn was the most imitated brand in both Q1 and Q2 2022, it is logistics company DHL that took the top spot in Q3, accounting for 22% of all phishing attempts worldwide.

Microsoft is in second place (16%) and LinkedIn has fallen to third, making up just 11% of scams – compared to 52% in Q1 and 45% in Q2 of this year.

DHL’s increase could be due in part to a major global scam and phishing attack that the logistics giant warned about itself just days before the quarter started. Instagram has also appeared in the top 10 list for the first time this quarter, following a ‘blue-badge’ related phishing campaign that was reported in September.

“[Logistics] is one of the top industry sectors for brand phishing, second only to technology. As we head into the busiest retail period of the year, Check Point Research will continue to monitor shipping-related scams as threat actors will likely increase their efforts to take advantage of online shoppers,” the report’s authors said.

“Phishing is the most common type of social engineering, which is a general term describing attempts to manipulate or trick users. It is an increasingly common threat used in most security incidents,” commented Omer Dembinsky, Data Research Group Manager at Check Point. 

“In Q3, we saw a dramatic reduction in the number of phishing attempts related to LinkedIn, which reminds us that cybercriminals will often switch their tactics to increase their chances of success. It is still the third most commonly impersonated brand, though, so we’d urge all users to stay mindful of any emails or communications purporting to be from LinkedIn. 

“Now that DHL is the brand most likely to be imitated, it’s crucial that anyone expecting a delivery goes straight to the official website to check progress and/or notifications. Do not trust any emails, particularly those asking for information to be shared.”

Top phishing brands in Q3 2022

Below are the top brands ranked by their overall appearance in brand phishing attempts:

  1. DHL (related to 22% of all phishing attacks globally)
  2. Microsoft (16%)
  3. LinkedIn (11%)
  4. Google (6%)
  5. Netflix (5%)
  6. WeTransfer (5%)
  7. Walmart (5%)
  8. Whatsapp (4%)
  9. HSBC (4%)
  10. Instagram (3%)
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