Security researchers at Check Point are warning Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers of surges in email phishing campaigns where hackers impersonate delivery vendors, like Amazon, DHL and FedEx, to commit financial fraud.
The emails are designed to trick recipients into disclosing their personal details by using message guises of “Delivery Issue” or “Track your Shipment”.
Hackers are timing email phishing campaigns to coincide with the anticipation of package deliveries from online shoppers who made purchases during this Thanksgiving holiday shopping season, where US consumers spent $9 billion online on Black Friday, up 21.6 percent on a year ago, according to Adobe Analytics.
Hackers are targeting both the before and after sides of the online purchasing experience. Two weeks ago, Check Point researchers documented an 80 percent increase in malicious phishing campaigns targeting online shoppers in the form of “special offers”, urging shoppers to be wary of “too good to be true” bargains found online.
In fact, 1 out of every 826 emails delivered to users worldwide are malicious phishing emails, where the ratio at the beginning of October was 1 out of more than 11, marking a 13x increase.
440 percent Global Increase
In November, Check Point researchers documented a 440 percent global increase in shipping related phishing emails, compared to October. Emails impersonating DHL made up 56 percent of the total volume of shipping-related phishing emails, followed by Amazon at 37 percent, and FedEx at 7 percent.
Numbers by Region: Europe, USA and APAC
Europe topped the list in terms of total number of phishing emails. The numbers grew over four times (401 percent) compared to October. 77 percent of these emails in November were fake DHL mails.
In the US, the increase was similar (427 percent) comparing November to October. The leading impersonated brand was Amazon with 65 percent of all phishing emails impersonating different Amazon shipping related notifications.
APAC showed a more moderate, though significant, increase (185 percent) with DHL accumulating almost 65 percent of the total phishing emails.
“Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, we’re turning towards the other side of the equation, which is deliveries,” Sundar N Balasubramanian, managing director, India and SAARC, Check Point Software Technologies, said.