LinkedIn tops the list of most imitated brands by cybercriminals

In a report titled ‘Brand Phishing Report’, security company Check Point Research (CPR) reveals that job seekers on LinkedIn are the most vulnerable to fraud as it is now the most imitated brand by cybercriminals for phishing.

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The social media platform accounted for more than 50 percent of all phishing attempts during the first quarter (January-March) of 2022, dominating the global rankings for the first time. This represents an upgrade of a whopping 44 percent from the previous quarter when LinkedIn was in the fifth position with only 8 percent phishing attempts.

According to the report, cybercriminals are increasingly targeting LinkedIn users by imitating the website by creating a similar name, URL, and web page. They email or text the official-looking link to targeted users and once there, the victims are prompted to log in via a fake LinkedIn portal where their personal information and credentials are stolen.

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In other techniques, targeted individuals are also redirected to the fake web page mid browsing or via a fake mobile app. Usually, fake web pages of this kind consist of a form that is intended for the user to fill in their personal details.

“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,” said Omer Dembinsky, Data Research Group Manager at Check Point Software. “Some attacks will attempt to gain leverage over individuals or steal their information, such as those we’re seeing with LinkedIn.”

The report also shared two photos to demonstrate how the scam works on LinkedIn.

Advising LinkedIn users, Dembinsky said, “The best defense against phishing threats, as ever, is knowledge. Employees, in particular, should be trained to spot suspicious anomalies such as misspelled domains, typos, incorrect dates, and other details that can expose a malicious email or text message. LinkedIn users, in particular, should be extra vigilant over the course of the next few months.”

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