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Mobile Phishing Threats Surged 161% In 2021

The Lookout Report

Lockout (IT Security Company) released a report showing that mobile phishing exposure surged 161% within the energy industry between the second half of 2020 and the first half of 2021.

According to stats of recent attacks launched, the hackers are now targeting companies in the energy sector following the attack launched on Colonial Pipeline in the USA earlier this year and the current cyber-attacks war between Israel and Iran.

The Research Stats

According to Lookout:

  • More than 20% of the energy companies employees were a victim of phishing attacks in the first half of 2021, which shows an increment of 161% from the second half of 2020
  • Out of a hundred, 17.2% of all the cyber-attacks targeted energy organizations making the industry the biggest victim of cyberattacks.
  • More than 50% of Android users were exposed to vulnerabilities because of using outdated versions of Android OS.
  • According to the report, the mobile threat exposure rate was 7.6%, double that of all other industries combined.
  • Riskware and vulnerabilities were found to be the cause of 95% of mobile app threats.

Region-wise Exposure rate

The report shows

  • North America (11.2%)
  • APAC (13.2%)
  • EMEA (15.8%)

APAC and EMEA employees were 18% and 41% more likely to experience a mobile phishing attack than the North American employees.

The Sample Used

The Lookout Energy industry threat report is made on the analysis of data in the Lookout security graph. Data made the graph from more than 200 million devices and 150 million apps.

One of the sources was Secure Web Gateway which customers use to protect against phishing attacks on their mobile devices.

The Reason behind attacks

The primary reasons behind these attacks on the energy industry sector are because complex supply chain relationships and digital transformation initiatives.

The following primary reason is that organizations are shifting workloads to mobile devices and cloud applications, which are more vulnerable than physical states.

The atmosphere exposes electricity groups to significant cyber risks in which a single vulnerability could disclose the complete supply chain.

The Author's Statement

The author of the report Stephen Banda, senior manager of security solutions at Lookout, stated

As the energy industry modernizes and relies more heavily on mobile devices and cloud solutions, these insights into mobile phishing and app threats can help organizations strengthen their security program.

Phishing attacks, mobile app threats, and outdated operating systems present a heightened risk to the already strained energy industry.

Stephen Banda further added

Recent Related Incidents

Several recent attacks were launched on energy sectors, including the Iran allegation on Israel and the US attacking Iran gas stations to disrupt heavily subsidized gasoline sales.

The famous ransomware attack on the US Colonial Pipeline company earlier this year disrupted all significant pipeline operations, resulting in a massive loss.

These events demonstrate that the energy industry is particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

The Report's Motive

The report notified the importance of energy organizations to secure mobile endpoints that employees use to access corporate resources and operation technologies.

The report also shared the percentage of mobile threats to different industries separately and brightened the high-risk regions.

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