LinkedIn Becomes the Most Impersonated Brand for Phishing Attacks

LinkedIn has become by far the most impersonated brand for phishing attacks, according to new research by Check Point Research (CPR).

The cybersecurity vendor’s 2022 Q1 Brand Phishing Report revealed that phishing attacks impersonating the professional social networking site made up over half (52%) of all attempts globally in the first quarter of 2022. This represents a 44% increase compared to the previous quarter, Q4 2021 when LinkedIn was the fifth most impersonated brand.

CPR said the findings reflected an emerging trend of social engineering scams shifting away from shipping companies and tech giants toward social media networks. In Q1 2022, social networks were the most targeted category, followed by shipping.

Following LinkedIn, the most frequently impersonated brands in phishing attacks were DHL (14%), Google (7%), Microsoft (6%), FedEx (6%), WhatsApp (4%), Amazon (2%), Maersk (1%), AliExpress (0.8%) and Apple (0.8%).

Omer Dembinsky, data research group manager at Check Point Software, commented: “These phishing attempts are attacks of opportunity, plain and simple. Criminal groups orchestrate these phishing attempts on a grand scale, with a view to getting as many people to part with their personal data as possible. Some attacks will attempt to gain leverage over individuals or steal their information, such as those we’re seeing with LinkedIn. Others will be attempts to deploy malware on company networks, such as the fake emails containing spoof carrier documents that we’re seeing with the likes of Maersk.

“If there was ever any doubt that social media would become one of the most heavily targeted sectors by criminal groups, Q1 has laid those doubts to rest. While Facebook has dropped out of the top 10 rankings, LinkedIn has soared to number one and has accounted for more than half of all phishing attempts so far this year. Read more:

You can also read this: Phishing Simulation Study Shows Why These Attacks Remain Pervasive

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