Microsoft was the most impersonated brand in ‘phishing’ attacks, according to Atlas VPN

MADRID, May 2. (Portaltic/EP) –

the tech company microsoft was the most supplanted brand in the attacks of phishing in 2021, along with illegal streaming websites, as well as the retail and government sectors.

It is one of the conclusions reached by Atlas VPN in a recent report, TreatLabz Phishingin which ‘phishing’ attacks are analyzed with data collected by the Zscaler cloud.

The analysis has been carried out to identify critical trends, industries at risk and usual tactics put into practice over the past year by cybercriminals.

The study determines that the attackers took advantage of the manufacturer’s brand image to impersonate its products, such as OneDrive and Microsoft 365, in 36.6 percent of attacks of ‘phishing’ registered last year.

This percentage is far from that recorded by the ‘illegal streaming’ web pages, which were used by cybercriminals in 13.6 percent of the occasions to perpetrate these scam attacks.

According to Atlas VPN, these web pages are in second position due to the influence of the pandemic, at which time a large part of the users used them to view and download online content.

They are followed by ‘phishing’ attacks related to the Covid-19, who represented the 7.2 percent of social engineering scams in fiscal 2021.

In this sense, cybercriminals took advantage of users’ ignorance to offer misleading domains from seemingly legitimate and safe web pages.

Likewise, cybercriminals impersonated the Telegram messaging platform in 6.5 percent of ‘phishing’ attacks, while fraudulent actions related to Amazon represented 5.8 percent of internet scams.

Finally, attacks by cybercriminals who impersonated the identity of companies such as Google, PayPal, Facebook either Binance materialized in less than 3 percent of attacks.


Companies dedicated to the industry, especially retail, and government agencies were also the most affected last year in what corresponds to ‘phishing’ attacks.

So much so that the retail and wholesale industry suffered 436 percent more ‘phishing’ attacks in 2021 than in 2020. However, small businesses have been hit the hardest, as these attacks have put customers’ trust and reputation in question.

In addition, according to the results offered by Atlas VPN, internet scams to the government sector they grew by 110 percent in 2021.

Specifically, cybercriminals target organizations such as the Ministries of Foreign Affairs or Defense to steal information and access the network to launch new attacks.

On the other hand, the financial and insurance industry saw a 101 percent increase in these types of attacks, while those registered in educational organizations increased by 32 percent in 2021 compared to 2020.

In contrast, there were three industries that experienced a lower number of attacks than in the immediately preceding year. On the one hand, the technology industry and communications, with 15 percent fewer cyberattacks, as well as the service industry, (33%) and the health sector (59%).

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