Recent research revealed that there has been a significant increase in phishing attacks since the pandemic. According to a report by the FBI, 11 times more phishing attacks were reported in 2020 as compared to 2016. Moreover, over 91% of security breaches were initiated by launching phishing attacks on victims.

What has happened?

As mentioned in the report, phishing attacks were the most frequent type of attack method used in malware-based attacks in 2020, nearly doubling its growth from the previous year. 
  • The frequency of phishing attacks is different for various industries and is based on the targeted firm’s size. Healthcare and manufacturing sectors are the most targeted by phishing scams.
  • Social media industries are also lucrative targets, with social messaging apps being the bull’s eye. Accounts with single sign-on accounted for 40% of all phishing attacks.
  • Various types of phishing attacks launched included spear phishing, whaling, smishing, vishing, search engine phishing, CEO Fraud, clone phishing, and evil twin phishing.

Different report, same observations

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) reported that the number of phishing websites peaked at a record number in the first quarter of this year at 245,771.
  • APWG’s report showed that in Q1 2021, webmail/SaaS (19.6%), social media (23.6%), and financial institutions (24.9%) were the most targeted industries by phishing attacks.
  • BEC scams are behind huge economic losses to the victims, with average wire transfer requests increased to $85,000 from $48,000 in Q3 2020.


Phishing attacks have become more prominent than ever and are growing at a rapid pace. The best way to avoid phishing attacks is to stay alert and updated about new attack methods and tricks used by attackers. In addition, always use a reliable anti-malware solution with email protection for better security.

Cyware Publisher