The results found that phishing email attacks related to Covid-19 remained frequent in Q2:2020. Covering the entire second quarter, simulated phishing tests with a message related to the coronavirus were the most popular, with a total of 56%.
Social media messages are another area of concern when it comes to phishing. Within the same report, KnowBe4’s top-clicked social media email subjects reveal password resets, tagging of photos and new messages.
“It’s no surprise that phishers and scammers are using the avalanche of new information and events involving the global coronavirus pandemic as a way to successfully phish more victims,” said Stu Sjouwerman, CEO, KnowBe4.
“These phishing scams are becoming more aggressive and more targeted as this pandemic continues. Everyone should remain very sceptical of any email related to Covid-19 coming into their inbox.”
In Q2:2020, KnowBe4 examined tens of thousands of email subject lines from simulated phishing tests. The organisation also reviewed ‘in-the-wild’ email subject lines that show actual emails users received and reported to their IT departments as suspicious.
Top 10 General Email Subjects
Note: Capitalisation and spelling are as they were in the phishing test subject line. Email subject lines are a combination of both simulated phishing templates created by KnowBe4 for clients, and custom tests designed by KnowBe4 customers.
When investigating ‘in-the-wild’ email subject lines, KnowBe4 found the most common throughout Q2 2020 included:
Note: Capitalisation and spelling are as they were in the phishing test subject line. In-the-wild email subject lines represent actual emails users received and reported to their IT departments as suspicious. They are not simulated phishing test emails.