One of the most prevalent means of cybercrime is phishing sites. Here, criminals create a seemingly authentic copy of a popular website to lure people into entering their sensitive data, be it account login credentials or credit card information.
Since the beginning of the year, Google has flagged 2.02 million phishing sites, averaging 46,000 sites per week, according to researchers at Atlas VPN. Researchers note that the number of phishing sites peaked at the start of the year, which correlates with the beginning of the pandemic.
Data also reveals that in the first half of 2020, there were two huge spikes in malicious websites, reaching over 58,000 detections per week at the peaks. Atlas VPN says the number of new phishing sites has been steadily increasing each year since 2015, but it’s now higher than it’s ever been.
To look at the broader perspective, Atlas VPN analyzed phishing site data since the first quarter of 2015. Their findings revealed that the year 2020 is, in fact, the year with most new phishing sites to date.
Researches attribute the spike in 2020 to the COVID-19 pandemic, as people are spending more time online and emotions are running high. Panic resulting from the pandemic often leads to irrational thinking, and people forget basic security steps. Users then download malicious files or try to purchase in-demand items from unsafe websites, in result becoming victims of a scam.
Google and other companies do a good job of tracking down malicious sites, but attackers can easily scale their operations and set up new sites to stay ahead of efforts to shut them down. New-school security awareness training can enable your employees to spot these sites on their own.
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Information used in this article was provided by our partners at KnowBe4.