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Microsoft, Zoom most impersonated brands in 2020 phishing attempts


Microsoft and Zoom were the most commonly impersonated companies in the phishing attacks in 2020. In total, 80% of all last year’s brand email phishing campaigns imitated Microsoft or Zoom to scam victims, according to the data presented by the VPN provider Atlas VPN.

Multinational technology company Microsoft was a definite leader over the other brand impersonators. The brand was used in a whopping 28,536 unique phishing attempts accounting for 70% of all last year’s brand phishing campaigns.

However, Zoom, which exploded in popularity amid the pandemic when all the industries turned to remote video communication tools, came in second. It was exploited in 3,803 brand phishing campaigns, which constitute more than 9% of all such attempts.

The third spot in the list is occupied by the world’s largest online retailer Amazon. Amazon brand name was used in 2,747 or nearly 7% of all phishing campaigns impersonating well-known brands.

According to Atlas VPN, in total, over 12% of all last year’s phishing emails used brand impersonation tactics.
Technology was the most impersonated industry of 2020. Companies in the technology sector, such as Microsoft, Netflix, DocuSign, LinkedIn, Apple, Dropbox, and ADP, were used in close to 72% of all phishing campaigns that imitated existing brands.

The technology sector is followed by the telecommunication industry. Names of telecommunication industry leaders, such as Zoom, RingCentral, eFax, Xerox, and AT&T, were taken advantage of in 14% of such phishing attempts in 2020.

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