Home / / Phishing attacks with malicious URLs up 125%

Phishing attacks with malicious URLs up 125%

Mimecast report shows one in 61 emails contained malicious URLs in Q1

Mimecast says that one in 61 emails contained malicious URLs in Q1.
Mimecast says that one in 61 emails contained malicious URLs in Q1.

Phishing attacks using malicious URLs in emails rose by 125% in Q1 2018, according to Mimecast.

The security company's latest Email Security Risk Assessment (ESRA) report, an aggregated analysis of tests that measure the efficacy of widely used email security systems, showed malicious URLs in email at a rate of one per 61 emails.

Mimecast detected 463,546 malicious URLs contained in 28,407,664 emails which were marked as safe and to users by their existing email solutions. Recent research Mimecast conducted with Vanson Bourne independently also confirms that malicious URLs are a rampant problem, with 45% of the 1,025 respondents saying the volume of these URL-based attacks or those with dangerous attachments have increased over the last year. Despite the fact that the majority of cyberattacks start with an email, the lines between email and web security are blurring.

In addition to malicious URLs, the latest ESRA report also found 24,908,891 spam emails, 26,713 malware attachments, 53,753 impersonation attacks, and 23,872 dangerous file types of the 232,010,981 total emails inspected were all missed by these incumbent security solution providers and delivered to inboxes, putting individuals and organisations at risk.

"Email and the web are natural complements when it comes to the infiltration of an organization. Email delivers believable content and easily clickable URLs, which then can lead unintended victims to malicious web sites. URLs within emails are literally the point of intersection between email and the web. Organizations need the visibility across both channels in order to have the protection required to stay on top of today's ever evolving and expanding threats and having a single vendor in an integrated solution can help," said Matthew Gardiner, cybersecurity strategist at Mimecast.

"Cybercriminals are constantly looking for new ways to evade detection, often turning to easier methods like social engineering to gain intel on a person or pulling images from the internet to help ‘legitimize' their impersonation attempts to gain credentials or information from unsuspecting users."

Impersonation fraud also continues to grow and present challenges. The new research from Mimecast and Vanson Bourne revealed that 41% of respondents reported seeing an increase in impersonation fraud from vendors or business partners asking for money, sensitive information or credentials - with 38% saying they've seen an increase of impersonation fraud from well-known internet brands.