10 Startling Facts about Phishing

November 30th · 4 min read

Phishing is a technique attackers have been using to steal victims’ personal information for some time now. While this threat is declining in quantity, the quality of attacks is increasing. This means that more and more people are falling victim to phishing attacks. Here are 10 startling facts about phishing that everyone should be aware of.

10 - Nearly one third of all confirmed data breaches involved phishing.

Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report indicated that 32% of all data breaches involved phishing in one way or another. This means that someone was tricked into providing personal information, whether it was their administrative credentials, personal information about themselves, or personal information about others.

9 - 86% of Email Attacks don’t contain malware.

While many of us are concerned about malware causing our information to be leaked, phishing emails are attackers’ new go-to scheme. Between April and June 2019, FireEye reports that only 14% of email-based attacks contained malware.

8 - 37.9% of untrained Internet users Fail Phishing Tests.

In their 2020 Phishing By Industry Benchmarking Report, KnowBe4, a leading provider of cyber awareness training, reported that almost 38% of users who did not undergo training in the area of phishing attacks failed phishing tests.

7 - The Puerto Rican Government Lost $2.6 Million in a Phishing Attack.

The Associated Press reported that an employee of the Puerto Rican Government fell victim to an email phishing attack. As a result, the Puerto Rican Government lost more than $2.6 Million. This goes to show the importance of taking the time to fully understand phishing and make sure that you can easily spot an attack.

6 - Apple is the most popular company phishers imitate.

When Apple announced the upcoming release of the Apple Watch, they became a much more attractive front for phishers than ever before. Check Point Research reported the impressive jump from 7th place to 1st place during the 1st Quarter of 2020.

5 - Almost Half of Data Breaches occur because of Human Error and Glitches

IBM and Ponemon Institute’s researchers report in their 2019 Cost of a Data Breach Report that 49% of data breaches were a direct result of human error and system glitches. Included within their “human error” portion are insiders who fall victim to phishing attacks.

4 - 74% of Phishing Websites use HTTPS.

If you try to stay informed about Internet safety, you may have already been told never to enter your personal information on a website that begins with HTTP. You should always look for the S in HTTPS because that indicates that a site is secure. APWG’s 4th Quarter 2019 Activity Trends Report that attackers are taking advantage of free certificates on phishing sites and abusing the encryption already installed on hacked web sites. This means that simply checking for the “S” in HTTPS isn’t enough to guarantee a site is secured by encryption.

3 - A New Phishing Site Launches Every 20 Seconds.

In their 2020 Mobile Threat Landscape Report, Wandera reports that a new phishing site launches every 20 seconds. This means that every minute, three new phishing websites designed to target new victims pops up online.

2 - In one week, Google blocked more than 18 Million COVID-19 phishing emails per day.

Cybercriminals are incorporating new tactics into their old ways. They’re preying on the fears and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic to trick unsuspecting people into becoming victims of phishing attacks. Per Google’s report, they’re doing this at an alarming rate.

1 - Guardio protects you from phishing attacks and breaches in two ways.

Guardio’s live browser protection identifies and blocks malicious websites in real time. This means that if you click on a malicious link that turns out to be a phishing site, Guardio will alert you right away so you can’t fall victim to the attack. Then, Guardio’s data breach monitoring service will alert you if your information is identified as being part of a data breach so you can take swift action to secure your information before falling victim to identity theft.

Conclusion

While the overall rate of phishing attacks are decreasing, phishers and other attackers are placing more focus on the quality of their attacks than on the quantity. This means that they’re trying new tactics that are much more effective, thus tricking more victims. To avoid falling victim yourself, it’s more important than ever that you use browser protection and stay informed of their latest techniques. To learn more about phishing, check out these articles: Phishing Explained: Everything You Need to Know About Phishing Scams and What Little Red Riding Hood Can Teach us About Phishing in 2020

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