Phishing scams occur in 1 in 61 emails

Mimecast, a cybersecurity provider, has done some research into how often people are targeted by phishing attacks. The results are in: as things seem to be at the moment, 1 in 61 emails in an average corporate email inbox contains a URL to a malicious phishing website.

Over the past few months, the rate of phishing attacks has effectively more than doubled in numbers. In concrete numbers, the researchers noted a 126% increase.

Phishing, at its very core, is a method designed by cybercriminals. By utilising it, they masquerade as a legitimate sender (often a figure of authority) while duping the victim into clicking a malicious link. These often contain fake login forms with the sole purpose of harvesting sensitive user data. Either that, or they distribute malware on the victim’s PC.

Once they’ve laid their hands on the illegitimately-obtained user credentials, they either use them to empty the victim’s bank account or sell them on the dark web.

To come to their conclusions, Mimecast analysed as many as 28,407,664 emails that the cybersecurity systems let through to the corporate inboxes, marking them as “safe”. However, it turned out that 463,546 actually contained a malicious URL.

Given how many times an employee might send or receive an email in a given day, the numbers are quite alarming, since someone could be victimised at any moment.

Matthew Gardiner, a cybersecurity strategist at Mimecast, noted that email delivers believable content, which hackers utilise to lure the victims into clicking a URL and infiltrate the organisation.