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Bolster’s Q2 and Q3 2020 State Of Phishing And Online Fraud Report: Cybersecurity Facing a Scale Crisis With More Than 18,000 Scam Sites Created Daily

Cybercriminals Leveraging Free Email Services to Execute Phishing Attacks

Bolster, a deep learning-powered fraud prevention company protecting the world’s leading brands from counterfeit activity, today released its Q2 and Q3 2020 State of Phishing and Online Fraud Report. Throughout the year, the company releases impactful data obtained from its AI engine, which has analyzed over 1 billion websites to provide an in-depth audit of how phishing and online fraud is affecting enterprises, SMBs, non-profits and the online consumer community. As predicted in the Bolster Q1 State of Phishing and Online Fraud Report, the number of phishing and scam sites continues to grow, with more than four million suspicious pages live today.

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The Internet is full of fraud and theft and cybercriminals are operating in the open with impunity, violating copyrights, misrepresenting brands and advocating deceit overtly. Surprisingly, Bolster found these criminals are not lurking in the shadows of the dark net, instead they are using mainstream ISPs, hosting companies and free Internet services – the same that are used by legitimate businesses every day.

The Bolster Q2 and Q3 State of Phishing and Online Fraud Report provides a summary of the most recent trends in phishing and scams, offers insights into the scale, breadth and scope of these attacks and takes a deeper look into the examples of recent attacks and how organizations can protect themselves.

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Key findings from the new report include:

Phishing and online fraud scams accelerate: In Q2, Bolster saw an alarming, rapid increase of new phishing and fraudulent sites being created, detecting 1.7 million phishing and scam websites – a 13.3% increase from Q1 2020. Phishing and scam websites continued to increase in Q2 and peaked in June 2020 with a total of 745,000 sites detected. On average, there were more than 18,000 sites created each day.

Cybercriminals use common, free email services to execute phishing attacks: The most active phishing scammers are using free emails accounts from trusted providers including Google and Yahoo!. Gmail was the most popular with over 45% of email addresses. Russian Yandex was the second most popular email service with 7.3%, following by Yahoo! with 4.0%.

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