Phishing activities continue to intensify across the world, with their volume for the second quarter of 2021 outpacing the same period last year by 22%. Cryptocurrency increasingly finds itself in attackers’ sight, with a tenfold increase in attacks on exchanges, according to a recent report by cyber threat intelligence company PhishLabs. Due to a spike in attacks, the crypto sector is now ranked as the third industry in terms of growth of phishing attempts.
“In Q2, a combination of brand, executive, and employee impersonation attacks accounted for over half (54.7%) of all social media attacks in the Cryptocurrency sector. This activity identifies threat actor attempts at impersonating cryptocurrency businesses to confuse customers and cash in on the sector’s skyrocketing growth,” the US firm said.
The global crypto industry reported a 13% increase in phishing attacks in the April-June 2021 period compared with the first quarter of this year.
This meant that only two other industries reported a higher growth rate in such attacks in the second quarter of 2021: payment services, with a staggering increase of 561.8%, and broadcast media, up 112.5%, as indicated by data from the report.
“We anticipate cryptocurrency businesses will continue to be aggressively targeted by threat actors through social media in future quarters, due to a majority of their activity and communication taking place through social platforms,” PhishLabs said.
Three site staging methods accounted for all of the phishing attacks targeting crypto exchanges, according to the report.
“Free Hosting solutions hosted 96.5% of the phishing sites, while Compromised Sites accounted for 3.4% of the activity. A small number of sites targeting exchanges abused development tools for staging,” according to PhishLabs.
The remaining 0.1% of such attacks on crypto exchanges were staged with the use of development tools, the analysis said.