Massive surge in phishing campaigns targeting online shoppers with ‘special offers’: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on November 18, 2020

There has been a massive surge in phishing campaigns targeted towards online shoppers in the past six weeks driven by increased holiday spending, according to a report by cybersecurity firm Check Point.

“Threat actors are organising their infrastructures to try and grab their share of our holiday spending,” Check Point Research said.

It has reported a “spike in hacker activity over the past six weeks, with a surge in malicious phishing campaigns targeting online shoppers in the form of ‘special offers’.”

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The number of phishing campaigns leveraging weekly “special offers” ahead of the holiday season has doubled globally in the four weeks from October 8 to November 9, as per the report. The cybersecurity firm noted 243 such campaigns at the beginning of November, compared to 121 at the start of October.

Phishing campaigns with emails containing phrases such as ‘special’, ‘offer’, ‘sale’, ‘cheap’, ‘% off’ increased by 80 per cent in the first half of November. One out of every 826 emails was a phishing email related to November shopping days, compared to less than one in 11,000 phishing emails at the start of October, as per the report.

Check Point has further advised users to be wary of “too good to be true” bargains and password reset emails. Users must analyse such emails and check them for misspellings, often a giveaway of a phishing email. The firm further advised users to never share their credentials and use security solutions to protect themselves from such cyberattacks.

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Published on November 18, 2020
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