ESET prepared a report on web threats for the period from May to August 2021. ESET telemetry shows an increase in phishing pages and malware distribution sites around the world.
Every day in the world, computer security programs block half a million negative sites with unique URLs. Most of the blocking accounts for Russia – 11.4% of the total. Japan, Peru, Poland and France are also in the top five for this indicator. Detections peaked in the second half of June 2021, when ESET telemetry recorded 5.5 million new sites every day.
In terms of GeoIP-restricted web threat sources, the vast majority (35%) were hosted in the United States. This is followed by Germany, Canada, the Netherlands and Russia.
In the field of attacks using homoglyphs (characters similar in spelling but different in meaning), scammers have focused on cryptocurrency, social media, and financial services.
For example, domains posing as the blockchain.com service are the most widespread, as in early 2021. In the period May-August 2021, domains masquerading as the Coinbase cryptocurrency platform were first discovered: “coịnbase [.] net “and” coınbase [.] com “. ESET experts also noted previously unseen domains using homoglyphs impersonating Airbnb, AliExpress and Wikipedia.
By studying phishing schemes, ESET analysts have concluded that more than a third of the unique fraudulent URLs impersonate financial institutions, most often banks. In second place are phishing sites that imitate social networks and instant messengers: Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. Next came fake e-mail login sites, online document and spreadsheet services, and parcel delivery companies.
“The new report demonstrates that scammers are moving away from the massive use of the COVID-19 pandemic – for the first time in the past year and a half. However, in some countries, such as the United States, there has been a surge in fraudulent public health forms when users asked to enter their personal information into online profiles, ”comments ESET researcher Arie Goretzki.
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