Credential Phishing Attack Volume is Comparable to Spam

August 26, 2020

In July 2020, credential phishing attacks reached a six-month high, with numbers that rival spam volume.

The median number of credential phishing attacks received by organizations increased 25% in July over the previous month, continuing a trend of rising phishing attacks. Credential phishing is the second most common attack type behind spam. Since February, the volume of credential phishing attacks received by organizations has been about ⅔ the volume of spam received, and because credential phishing attacks have become so common, it’s easy to underestimate their potential impact.

Spam, which is unsolicited and unwanted bulk email, can cost organizations by wasting valuable employee time and crowding their inboxes. Credential phishing, however, can cause significantly more damage.

In a credential phishing attack, perpetrators frequently impersonate a known brand or entity in an attempt to steal a user’s email credentials. The email may appear to be from an internal department such as human resources, from a government agency, or an impersonated automated notification. These attacks often contain malicious links that redirect users to a credential harvesting site controlled by the attackers. Once the user inputs their credentials, the attackers are able to immediately gain access to their accounts. This access can be used to send additional phishing attacks from the compromised account, or the attacker may choose to lurk inside the user’s inbox, observing privileged company communications until they are ready to act.

Amidst this onslaught of credential phishing are targeted attacks known as Spear Phishing. These attacks are similar to other attempts at credential theft, but are crafted for a single individual or small group of people. They are frequently highly sophisticated and difficult to spot. The risk inherent in this increase in credential phishing is then two-fold—first, that more credentials may be lost due to the sheer volume of inbound attacks, and second, that this volume will lead to employee overconfidence in their ability to spot an attack.

Organizations and employees should be vigilant for these attacks, and take the necessary precautionary measures, including:

  • Double-check the senders and addresses to ensure that they're coming from legitimate sources. Don't trust the display name.
  • Always double-check a website’s URL before signing in. Attackers will often hide malicious links in redirects or host them on separate websites that can be reached by safe links. This allows them to bypass link scanning within emails, which is done by traditional email security solutions. If the URL looks suspicious, don't enter your credentials and always verify with your company's IT department.

Interested in learning more about how Abnormal stops credential phishing attacks from hitting your organization? Request a demo today.


Prevent the Attacks That Matter Most

Get the Latest Email Security Insights

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates on the latest attacks and new trends in the email threat landscape.

Demo 2x 1

See the Abnormal Solution to the Email Security Problem

Protect your organization from the attacks that matter most with Abnormal Integrated Cloud Email Security.

Related Posts

B 10 3 22 Cobalt Terrapin Blog
Threat group Cobalt Terrapin uses sophisticated impersonation techniques with multiple steps to commit invoice fraud.
Read More
B 09 29 22 CISO Cybersecurity Awareness Month
October is here, which means Cybersecurity Awareness Month is officially in full swing! These five tips can help security leaders take full advantage of the month.
Read More
B Email Security Challenges Blog 09 26 22
Understanding common email security challenges caused by your legacy technology will help you determine the best solution to improve your security posture.
Read More
B 5 Crucial Tips
Retailers are a popular target for threat actors due to their wealth of customer data and availability of funds. Here are 5 cybersecurity tips to help retailers reduce their risk of attack.
Read More
B 3 Essential Elements
Legacy approaches to managing unwanted mail are neither practical nor scalable. Learn the 3 essential elements of modern, effective graymail management.
Read More
B Back to School
Discover how threat group Chiffon Herring leverages impersonation and spoofed email addresses to divert paychecks to mule accounts.
Read More
B 09 06 22 Rearchitecting a System Blog
We recently shared a look at how the Abnormal engineering team overhauled our Unwanted Mail service architecture to accommodate our rapid growth. Today, we’re diving into how the team migrated traffic to the new architecture—with zero downtime.
Read More
B Industry Leading CIS Os
Stay up to date on the latest cybersecurity trends, industry news, and best practices by following these 12 innovative and influential thought leaders on social media.
Read More
B Podcast Engineering 11 08 24 22
In episode 11 of Abnormal Engineering Stories, David Hagar, Director of Engineering and Abnormal Head of UK Engineering, continues his conversation with Zehan Wang, co-founder of Magic Pony.
Read More