Social media and professional networking site LinkedIn has been named the most-impersonated brand by cybercriminals.

The Q2 2022 Brand Phishing Report from Check Point Research (CPR) highlights the brands that were most frequently imitated by cybercriminals in their attempts to steal individuals’ personally identifiable information (PII) or payment credentials over the quarter.

LinkedIn impersonated by phishers

The social media platform LinkedIn continued its reign as the most imitated brand after entering the rankings for the first time in Q1. While its share has dropped slightly; down from 52% in Q1 to 45% of all phishing attempts in Q2, this is still a worrying trend that highlights the ongoing risks facing users of the trusted social media platform. Social networks generally continue to be the most imitated category, followed by technology which, this quarter, took over second place from shipping.

The most striking rise in technology household names being exploited was Microsoft, making up 13% of all brand phishing attempts, more than double the amount in the previous quarter and edging DHL into third place with 12%.

LinkedIn-based phishing campaigns imitated the style of communication of the professional social media platform with malicious emails using subjects like: “You appeared in 8 searches this week” or “You have one new message” or “I’d like to do business with you via LinkedIn.” Although appearing to come from LinkedIn they used an email address that was completely different to that of the brand.

"Hackers are as focused on ROI as much as any legitimate business," said John Gunn, CEO at Token. "They go with LinkedIn most often because that is what victims are clicking on most. Don't be surprised if you see an increasing number of enterprises blocking all LinkedIn related emails."

Brand phishing rankings

Below are the top brands ranked by their overall appearance in brand phishing attempts:

  1. LinkedIn (45%)
  2. Microsoft (13%)
  3. DHL (12%)
  4. Amazon (9%)
  5. Apple (3%)
  6. Adidas (2%)
  7. Google (1%)
  8. Netflix (1%)
  9. Adobe (1%)
  10. HSBC (1%)

For more report insights, click here.