F-Secure Labs Shares the Top Companies Spoofed in Spam in 2017

Social engineering is simple these days, and spam has re-surged as an attack vector.

Helsinki, Finland – June 21, 2017: With the decline of exploit kits, spam email has re-emerged as a popular attack vector for spreading malware, frauds and scams. And one trick spammers use to fool recipients is posing as a legitimate company. F-Secure Labs is sharing a list of the top companies email spammers have been spoofing in the first half of 2017.

Populated by giants like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, the list underscores that the bigger the organization, the more attractive it is to use its brand name as bait in spam.

"There are so many people that have relationships with these companies, it makes these the most successful ones to imitate in spam," says Sean Sullivan, Security Advisor at F-Secure.

If not big tech giants, popular-to-spoof companies fall into certain industries such as online dating (Match.com) and financial (PayPal). Delivery services like USPS and FedEx are high on the list, using package delivery as bait. In Germany, Giropay and Ebay are popular spoofed brands, and in the Nordics, Nordea Bank and Ikea.

"When it comes to spam, social engineering is simpler than in the past," says Sullivan. "E-commerce is now so common it only takes a simple 'Your order cannot be delivered,' nothing else is needed. The amount of spam pushed practically guarantees that numerous recipients will actually be waiting for a delivery. And that serendipity is what short-circuits any amount of awareness training."

Email spoofs may push ransomware as an attachment, or other types of malware such as banking trojans or keyloggers. They may purport to sell legitimate products but actually be aiming to gather up credit card details or other personal information. They may be phishing emails engineered to steal account credentials.

Exploit kits, which lurk on compromised or malicious websites to exploit vulnerabilities found in visitors’ browsers and systems, used to dominate as a vector for malware infections. They have seen declining use as software vulnerabilities get patched more promptly, and as zero day vulnerabilities are rarer than ever. Malicious email volumes have increased as criminals adjust to the market forces.

Sullivan says we don’t see spam slowing down as an attack vector, so he offers these tips to IT admins to prevent infections via spam:

  • Do your users really need to be able to receive zip files? With cloud services, users can link to large documents securely. Consider blocking zip files at the gateway or using a group policy to make it an unsafe file type.
  • Disassociate jscript from something that will actually execute something on the user's machine.
  • Disable macro scripts from Office files received via email.
Top Companies Spoofed in Spam, H1 2017:
  1. USPS
  2. Amazon
  3. FedEx
  4. Apple
  5. PayPal
  6. Walgreens
  7. Microsoft
  8. Eharmony
  9. Lyft
  10. Facebook
  11. Bank of America
  12. Match.com
More Information Don’t be fooled: these companies are the most-spoofed in spam

About F-Secure

Nobody has better visibility into real-life cyber attacks than F-Secure. We’re closing the gap between detection and response, utilizing the unmatched threat intelligence of hundreds of our industry’s best technical consultants, millions of devices running our award-winning software, and ceaseless innovations in artificial intelligence. Top banks, airlines, and enterprises trust our commitment to beating the world’s most potent threats. Together with our network of the top channel partners and over 200 service providers, we’re on a mission to make sure everyone has the enterprise-grade cyber security we all need.

Founded in 1988, F-Secure is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd.

f-secure.com | twitter.com/fsecure | linkedin.com/f-secure

F-Secure media relations

Adam Pilkey

PR Content Manager

+358 40 637 8859
adam.pilkey@f-secure.com

Press list

Sign up for media information from F-Secure.

We process the personal data you share with us in accordance with our Corporate Business Privacy Policy.

Press archive

By year

Browse through our news by year.

By category

Browse through our news by category.