Whaling and Executive Impersonations have seen an increase of 131% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, according to GreatHorn, costing enterprises some $1.8 billion.

Two new eBooks released by GreatHorn reveal just how prominent Whaling and Executive Impersonation attacks are in the corporate world and offer legitimate examples showing what they really look like and the damage they produce.

Some key stats include:

  • Executive spoofing rages on: 55% of cybersecurity pros said that executives at their company have been spoofed or impersonated in the last year.
    • The most popular technique observed was links to malicious sites (51%) and gift card requests (46%).
  • Whaling attacks are spiking: 59% of organizations say an executive has been the target of whaling attacks and 46% say executives have fallen victim.
    • 30% saw whaling attacks increase dramatically in the past year.
    • 1 out of every 3,226 (once every 24 days) emails received by an executive is a whaling attack

Whaling is a highly targeted phishing attack - aimed at senior executives - masquerading as a legitimate email. The attack is digitally enabled fraud through social engineering, designed to encourage victims to perform a secondary action, such as initiating a wire transfer of funds.

The Whaling eBook can be found here and the Executive Impersonation eBook here.