F5 LABS REPORT REVEALS INCREASING ATTACKER SOPHISTICATION RAISES GLOBAL CYBERSECURITY STAKES
COVID-19 continues to significantly embolden cybercriminals ’ phishing and fraud efforts , according to new research from F5 Labs .
The fourth edition of the Phishing and Fraud
Report found that phishing incidents rose
220 % during the height of the global pandemic compared to the yearly average .
Based on data from F5 ’ s Security Operations Center ( SOC ), the number of phishing incidents in 2020 is now set to increase 15 % year-on-year , though this could soon change as second waves of the pandemic spread .
The three primary objectives for COVID-19 related phishing emails were identified as fraudulent donations to fake charities , credential harvesting and malware delivery . Attacker opportunism was in further evidence when F5 Labs examined certificate transparency logs ( a record of all publicly trusted digital certificates ). The number of certificates using the terms ‘ covid ’ and ‘ corona ’ peaked at 14,940 in March , which was a massive 1102 % increase on the month before .
Unfortunately , our research indicates that security controls , user training and overall awareness still appear to be falling short across the world
“ The risk of being phished is higher than ever and fraudsters are increasingly using digital certificates to make their sites appear genuine ,” said David Warburton , Senior Threat Evangelist at F5 Labs .
“ Attackers are also quick to jump on to emotive trends and COVID-19 will continue to fuel an already significant threat . Unfortunately , our research indicates that security controls , user training and overall awareness still appear to be falling short across the world .”
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