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Cloud and enterprise security leader Akamai has partnered with WMC Global researchers to release their State of the Internet report focusing on phishing in the financial services industry. We have included key excerpts below and access the full report HERE.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • In 2020, there were 193 billion credential stuffing attacks globally, with 3.4 billion of them in the financial services space, representing a 45% growth over 2019.
  • The number of web attacks targeting the financial services industry grew by 62%. Akamai observed 736,071,428 web attacks recorded against financial services in 2020. What was the number one web attack type targeting financial services? Local File Inclusion (52%), followed by SQL Injection (33%) and Cross-Site Scripting (9%). 
  • The Kr3pto phishing kit, which targets financial institutions and their customers via SMS, has been observed spoofing 11 brands across more than 8,000 domains since May 2020. Akamai and WMC Global have tracked Kr3pto campaigns across more than 80 different hosts (ASNs), including one host that housed more than 6,000 Kr3pto domains.
  • An API used by the Ex-Robotos phishing kit, which targets corporate credentials, logged more than 220,000 hits over 43 days, with peaks in the first week of February 2021 reaching tens of thousands per day.

     

FINANCIAL PHISHING

Over the past several years, phishing has remained a constant variable in many of the data breaches and security incidents that have dominated the headlines. Criminals have dedicated a good deal of energy and resources toward advancing the phishing economy on a regular basis. Gone are the days of basic cloned websites. Today, phishing is a turnkey business, even offered as a hosted solution for criminals who wish to leverage phishing-as-a-service developments.

As phishing attacks and kit development started to advance, defenders realized that usernames and passwords alone were not enough. To combat the phishing onslaught and other password-based attacks, defenders turned toward multi-factor authentication (MFA) and two-factor authentication (2FA) to help augment basic passwords. While 2FA is a subset of MFA, both provide the means of a second type of authentication, such as a PIN or one- time password (OTP). Often, 2FA is associated with SMS-based OTPs, whereas MFA is associated with authenticators, like Google Authenticator.

Fast-forward to today — the criminals have evolved. This change includes elements that target 2FA and MFA protections, where victims are tricked into filling out their OTP or revealing it to the threat actor during a conversation.

In this report, WMC Global and Akamai present research related to threat actors and the phishing kits being used to target the financial services industry, or people within it. One relatively new threat actor poses a serious threat to the financial services industry in the UK, with the development of dynamic phishing kits that effectively bypass secondary methods of authentication.

Read the full report HERE