The variety of email-borne cyber-threats blocked by Development Micro surged by triple digits final yr, highlighting the continued danger from typical assault vectors.
The seller stopped over 33.6 million such threats reaching clients by way of cloud-based electronic mail in 2021, a 101% improve. This included 16.5 million phishing emails, a 138% year-on-year improve, of which 6.5 million had been credential phishing makes an attempt.
Development Micro additionally blocked 3.3 million malicious recordsdata in cloud-based emails, together with a 134% improve in recognized threats and a 221% improve in unknown malware.
The information comes as Proofpoint warned in a brand new report of the continued risks posed by social engineering, and the mistaken assumptions many customers make.
Many customers don’t understand that risk actors might spend appreciable effort and time constructing a rapport over electronic mail with their victims, particularly in the event that they’re attempting to conduct a enterprise electronic mail compromise (BEC) assault, it mentioned.
They might additionally abuse reputable companies from Google, Microsoft and different sources to host and distribute malware and credential harvesting portals. OneDrive is essentially the most often used, adopted by Google Drive, Dropbox, Discord, Firebase and SendGrid, in response to the report.
The safety vendor additionally warned of a surge in “telephone-oriented assault supply (TOAD),” which it claimed to be seeing no less than 250,000 instances every day.
In these unsolicited emails, recipients are urged to ring a telephone quantity which is able to take them to a malicious name heart operative.
In a single model of the assault they may attempt to persuade that person to obtain reputable distant help software program, which can be utilized to hijack the sufferer’s pc and steal monetary particulars. A second variant may even see the sufferer tricked into downloading the BazaLoader malware, which might in flip be used to deploy extra malware like ransomware or info-stealers.
Lastly, Proofpoint urged company customers to not assume that current electronic mail threads are benign.
Risk actors are more and more hijacking inboxes to entry such threads as a extra sure-fire strategy to obtain their objectives than sending unsolicited emails.
In 2021, Proofpoint noticed over 500 campaigns utilizing thread hijacking, related to 16 totally different malware households, particularly banking Trojans.
“To efficiently hijack an current dialog, risk actors have to receive entry to reputable customers’ inboxes,” the report defined.
“This may be obtained in varied methods together with phishing, malware assaults, credential lists obtainable on hacking boards, or password spraying methods. Risk actors also can hijack complete electronic mail servers or mailboxes and routinely ship replies from risk actor-controlled botnets.”