The rise of cyber attacks disguised as trusted well-known brands

The rise of cyber attacks disguised as trusted well-known brands - Cybergate - Your cyber security partner

The rise of cyber attacks disguised as trusted well-known brands

The rise of cyber attacks disguised as trusted well-known brands.

Cyber attackers are increasingly exploiting the trust the public places in well-known brands. This happens across a wide spectrum of sectors, from banks to courier services and postal companies.

Over 1000 Maltese people were scammed over 20.8 million euro in the past two years, as reported in the press. Most scams were carried out through malicious emails and messages, with online shopping being one of the main causes. Social engineering in the form of emotional manipulation was another popular avenue cyber criminals used.

Cyber attackers disguise themselves as trusted entities, posing significant threats to individuals and businesses. Hackers are using brand impersonation to gain access to sensitive data, to tarnish the reputation of targeted brands and to perpetrate financial fraud. Black hat hackers leverage the reputation and familiarity of trusted brands to deceive unsuspecting victims. The way this is done is more sophisticated by the day.

Brands are mimicked through fake websites or landing pages, phishing emails and fraudulent social media profiles and pages. The ultimate aim is to lure unsuspecting individuals into divulging personal information, downloading malware or carrying out transactions. In addition to the direct negative impact, the consequences of such attacks also lead to loss of customer trust and loyalty in a particular brand. In Malta over the last few years big brands such as BOV, Maltapost and DHL were used by scammers.

Cyber awareness training and phishing simulation campaigns help safeguard against brand impersonation attacks. These two cybersecurity strategies help mitigate the risk by having organisations and employees be proactive and well-aware of both the threats that exist and the methods used by hackers.

Brands, from their end, need to manage their online reputation and educate their clients, prospects and stakeholders of any possible deceiving messages and activations revolving around their brand name.

Internally organisations are increasingly implementing robust email authentication protocols such as domain-based message authentication, reporting and conformance (DMARC), to help in thwarting phishing attempts.

The Importance of Cybersecurity Awareness

Cyber security awareness plays a crucial role in combating brand impersonating attacks. Raising awareness among employees and customers and educating them on how to identify such attacks and reporting any suspicious activities is pivotal in enhancing the defences against scams. Cyber awareness training sessions keep employees informed about the latest cyber threats, and the possible negative consequences of such cyber attacks. This will significantly reduce the likelihood of falling victim to these social engineering malicious schemes.

Cyber awareness should be prioritised as an ongoing effort in cultivating a culture of vigilance, caution and proactivity against emerging threats.

The surge of cyber attacks masquerading as trusted brands necessitates a concerted effort to safeguard against these deceptive threats. By understanding the perils of brand impersonation, embracing cybersecurity best practices, and fostering a culture of vigilance, organisations will have greater resilience.

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    francesco mifsud cybergate your cyber security partner
    Francesco Mifsud
    [email protected]

    I live and breathe cyber security and everything else in the discipline. With around a decade of experience in the industry I have had the opportunity to develop skills in penetration testing, cloud security, reverse engineering & exploit development, application security engineering, management and organisation-wide cyber security strategy. I hold a well-rounded set of security certifications such as OSCP, eWPTX and CISSP and have delivered training & workshops at some of the most prestigious hacking conferences such as DEF CON, BRU CON, BSides London and BSides Manchester.