Microsoft and PayPal, hackers' preferred targets in 2019

Online messaging services have been the preferred attack points for cyber criminals.

This is demonstrated by vade Secure's "Phishers' Favorites" ranking, a company that specializes in providing it security solutions and predictive protection of digital services. This umpteenth study even took into account the deployment of Microsoft's tool pack, Office 365 and other new uses developed by companies to adapt their means of communication.

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This new ranking continues to demonstrate that phishing is still as effective at stealing data from Internet users. Vade secure managed to produce such a result after analyzing as always the malicious links used by hackers for this kind of process (phishing, spear phishing …) and have been published on the website www.IsItPhishing.AI. For its ranking, Vade Secure uses powerful deep learning algorithms to analyze a set of digital data from more than 6 million mailboxes spread around the world. And thanks to this, the company is able to identify the website used for phishing campaigns and dissociate them from authentic websites. Based on the firm's analysis, we can remember some rather important details

– 91% of cyber attacks started with spam (phishing or Spear phishing…)

– Microsoft's Office 365 tool, which has more than 200 million active users worldwide, is the target of choice for cyber criminals, especially when it comes to their phishing campaigns. This is mainly due to the fact that this productivity tool has become one of the most widely used programs in the business sector, whether for messaging services or for cloud computing productivity access. Vade Secure comments on this ranking, noting: "These figures, coupled with the lucrative nature of the data stored in its Office 365 applications, make it an absolutely irresistible target for cyber criminals and explain the explosion of phishing targeting Microsoft." Moreover, this success of Microsoft's Office 365 could perhaps be explained by this approach: "A username and password are enough to open the doors of Office 365 wide and to conduct further attacks from inside the system. Once a hacker has managed to compromise an Office 365 email account, he no longer needs to create complex phishing emails that appear to be from Microsoft: he just has to pretend to be the user whose account he has spoofed," according to Sébastien Gest, Expert and Tech Evangelist at Vade Secure.

Moreover, Microsoft's productivity tool is not the only darling of hackers. Indeed PayPal is in second position. The online payment tool with more than "61,226 unique phishing URLs PayPal detected in 2019 represent an 85.5% increase over 2018. ». Philippe Richard, a journalist, explains this fact By "the rise of PayPal last year coincides in 2019 with the availability of PayPal Commerce Platform. It is a platform to connect merchants from around the world with the 277 active users of the payment service. The platform also benefits from strong partners, also included in the Phishers' Favorites ranking as… Facebook and Instagram."

On the other hand, social networks are not as lagging behind. Indeed, it was considered according to Vade Secure's ranking that phishing techniques targeting Facebook increased by more than 358.8% in relation to the year 2018. There are more than 42,338 phishing URLs for Zukerberg's social network for the year 2019. This has been blamed for the neglect of social networks in terms of managing the privacy of its users. Moreover, being the most used social network in the world, not to mention the launch of Facebook Pay in competition with Apple Pay and PayPal in November 2019, an online payment solution deployed on all its platforms i.e. Facebook, Instagram WhatsApp, not to mention the Facebook marketplace, the interest of hackers have only grown with regard to the American giant.

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