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Familiar companies like Google, Microsoft and Amazon are among Check Point Research’s top list of brands that cybercriminals tend to impersonate most often when it comes to phishing attacks.

DHL took the lead as the brand most often used in phishing campaigns and email scams in the Q4 Brand Phishing Report for 2021. The second and third spots went to Microsoft and WhatsApp, while the remaining top 10 included FedEx, PayPal, Apple, LinkedIn, etc. It’s likely DHL went up in ratings at the end of last year due to the busy winter holidays being the most lucrative time for attackers.

With the ongoing COVID-19 cases, many people are still using online shipping services to order items in an attempt to limit their outdoor exposure. Pretending to be a large shipping company might mean a higher rate of returns for a criminal’s attempts.

There also appeared to be a higher rate of social media platforms being impersonated, according to researchers. This might be due in part to the solidification of many work-from-home policies, as well as travel restrictions, where increased communication across these channels could be exploited for nefarious reasons.

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