Phishing attacks in social media jump by 500%

by Linas Kiguolis - -

In the fourth quarter of 2016, social media phishing activity increased by 500%.[1] These attacks are driven by a massive expansion of fake accounts in social media, which also include accounts created in order to promote many famous brands.

phishing social media

According to Proofpoint, fake accounts distribution in social networks such as Twitter and Facebook doubled its number from the third to fourth quarter of 2016.

These fraudulent accounts are exploited for phishing, spreading out malware, spam, scam, and more. Actually, a 20% increase was observed when it comes to Facebook and Twitter spam from third to fourth quarter. As a result, it was the highest volume of spam in the entire 2016 year.

In addition, a certain diversity of phishing was detected.

One of them, “angler phishing”, is a recent method. In this way, the black hats sign up fraudulent Twitter accounts pretending to be customer support.

While monitoring the actual customer support accounts for indignant user texts, face accounts penetrate to answer those customers with malicious links.

This method was commonly applied with entertainment and financial services accounts.

The amount of recent ransomware versions increased by 30 times in the fourth quarter. In addition, it was noticed that email campaigns with malicious content also increased by 6.7 times compared to the third quarter.

Locky ransomware was included in some of the largest email campaigns, and was sent hundreds of millions of times.

Meanwhile, when it comes to scams that involve imitating CEO emails to imitating CFOs, they decreased by 28% in the fourth quarter.

Thus, CFOs are more careful about the certainty of these kind of emails. In addition, this decrease also could be caused by the 33% growth of DMARC realization that assists to prevent the spoofing the CEOs’ email addresses.

Furthermore, exploit kits also weren’t highly distributed due to some high profile Angler EK arrests in the second quarter. However, other high volume malvertising campaigns still endure.


About the author

Linas Kiguolis
Linas Kiguolis - Senior IT developer

Linas Kiguolis is a senior IT developer and news editor at He has a major in Applied Computer Science because IT has been his passion for a very long time even before he went to college.

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