Reports show that phishing attacks have increased by 40% in 2023

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Kaspersky, a renowned cybersecurity firm, reported a significant surge in phishing attacks thwarted by its anti-phishing system in 2023. The system successfully blocked over 709 million attempts to access phishing and scam websites.

Numerous platforms were exploited by threat actors

Among the pathways most frequently exploited by threat actors were messaging apps, artificial intelligence platforms, social media services, and cryptocurrency exchanges. The trend of increased phishing attacks observed in 2022 persisted in 2023. Notably, the attacks increased by over 40 percent throughout the last year.

The number of attempts to access phishing links reached a staggering 709,590,011. Scammers commonly propagated travel-related scams like counterfeit airline tickets and fake hotel deals. Additionally, the integration of technologies featuring built-in LLMs provided scammers with new avenues to exploit, while traditional tactics targeting high-profile releases, events, and premieres remained prevalent.

Kaspersky Cyber Security Solutions thwarted 62,127 attempts to redirect users via phishing and scam links on Telegram alone. It represents a significant 22% increase from the previous year. The majority of redirection attempts targeted users in Russia, followed by Brazil, Turkey, India, Germany, Italy, and Mexico. It indicates a global reach of these malicious activities.

Olga Svistunova, a security expert at Kaspersky, emphasized the importance of vigilance and skepticism in combating phishing threats. She advised users to exercise caution when opening emails and clicking links, particularly if the sender or content seems suspicious. Keeping an eye on the spelling of website URLs and the layout of the sites are also proven security measures when surfing the web. It reduces the risk of falling victim to phishing-based scams.

Kaspersky’s securelist summarizes that 45.60% of all emails sent worldwide and 46.59% of all emails sent in the Russian web segment were spam. Additionally, Kaspersky Mail Anti-Virus blocked 135,980,457 malicious email attachments.

Multifaceted tactics of cybercriminals in 2023

In 2023, cybercriminals employed a variety of tactics to exploit users. It includes phishing schemes targeting gamers with promises of exclusive game access and in-game valuables, fake tax refund websites preying on users seeking financial benefits, and deceptive lottery offers for work or student visas. Scammers also enticed users with promises of easy money through fraudulent schemes disguised as paid tasks or investment opportunities.

Additionally, attackers leveraged social networks and messaging apps to spread phishing links and scams, such as fake Meta ad credits and fraudulent WhatsApp bots. Moreover, the exploitation of artificial intelligence, with fake AI chatbots offering tech support or investment advice, further contributed to the diverse range of tactics employed by scammers.