More than 260,000 Phishing attacks in the third quarter of 2021

Internet users simply because of their access to the network of networks, we are exposed to many threats. Cybercriminals increasingly carry out more sophisticated attacks in order to obtain our credentials and confidential information. Currently, two of cybercriminals’ favorites for financial gain are ransomware and phishing attacks. In relation to the latter, which we are going to talk about now, we have to pay close attention to the links that we click because they can be dangerous. In this article we are going to see how there have been more than 260,000 Phishing attacks in the third quarter of 2021 and we also provide some solution to protect ourselves.

In case you do not know, a Phishing attack consists of the use of a set of techniques that seek to deceive a victim, posing as a trusted person, company or service and making him perform actions that he should not. Usually we receive an e-mail, in which there is a link to a fake website, which is the same as the original. If they press it, users have to enter their data. The downside is that this information goes to a server controlled by the attackers. Therefore, cybercriminals take over the access credentials of our account.

The APWG Report on Phishing Attacks

AWPG’s 2021 Phishing Activity Trends Report has revealed that it recorded 260,642 such attacks in July 2021 and that it was the highest of those recorded in their reports. On the other hand, the number of Phishing attacks has doubled since the beginning of 2020. Here is a graph showing the strong increase in Phishing attacks from the end of 2019 to the third quarter of 2021.

According to Greg Aaron, Senior Researcher at APWG, he has commented that the number of phishing sites reporting to APWG in 2021 is now ten times higher than it was ten years ago. He also added that phishing has not decreased, that it is still dangerous and profitable for cybercriminals. As for the number of targets attacked, it has continued to increase until the third quarter of 2021. At the beginning of the year, the number of target marks was about 400, but at the end of September 2021, 700 have been exceeded.

You may be interested in how Phishing affects Spanish users.

Which sectors suffer the most Phishing

In this APWG report it has been seen that there are sectors to which more Phishing attacks are directed. One of them is the software as a service industry and webmail what were phishing victims in the third quarter of 2021 with a 29.1% of all attacks.

Regarding attacks against financial institutions and payment providers, continued to be numerous and were a 34.9% combined of all attacks. The focus has also been placed on cryptocurrencies, specifically in the exchange of cryptocurrencies and wallet providers who have received a 5.6% of the attacks. Here you have a graph with the most attacked industries in the third quarter of 2021.

You can consult the full report here. As for Phishing attacks, we must be very careful if we do not want to be a victim of them:

  1. Use strong and secure passwords in your accounts. Minimum 12 characters containing letters, numbers and symbols.
  2. Enable two-step authentication if available.
  3. Analyze the body of the message.
  4. Check that the URL directs you to the official site. You can also choose to enter directly by typing the official url yourself.

Finally, here are more tips to protect yourself from Phishing attacks.

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