Brexit sparks surge of enterprise spam

Sources report market insecurity driving wave of phishing emails

Britain's EU referendum result has triggered a massive surge in Brexit-based phishing emails, security firms have revealed.

Following the vote to leave the European Union, cyber security company Symantec reported an increase of almost 400 per cent in the number of spam emails featuring 'Brexit' in the subject line.

The volume of emails blocked by the company rose from 81,323 between 9 and 23 June, when the polls closed, to just under 400,000 between 24 June and 5 July.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Independent sources in the IT industry have independently confirmed the trend, telling IT Pro that enterprises are also being targeted, with a significant number of employees receiving and opening the malicious emails.

The emails - which reportedly contain the subject lines such as "Brexit causes historic market drop" - are a textbook example of social engineering, Symantec Security Response's Peter Coogan said.

"Scammers and spammers are constantly devising new e-mails and weaving current events to play on emotions, and the marked increase in Brexit-related spam does not come as a surprise considering the high international attention it is receiving."

Phishing emails commonly use psychological tactics in order to get people to open them. They are often labeled as classified corporate secrets, for example and scammers have also been known to use major events like the Olympic Games in their emails.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

"Threats such as spam, phishing, and malware that surf on major current events to try to scam people out of money continue to be a lucrative method used by cybercriminals to entice consumers and organisations to share sensitive or financial information," Coogan said.

"If you don't know the sender," he advised, "don't open the e-mail, don't click on the links within them and don't open the attachments."

Featured Resources

Top 5 challenges of migrating applications to the cloud

Explore how VMware Cloud on AWS helps to address common cloud migration challenges

Download now

3 reasons why now is the time to rethink your network

Changing requirements call for new solutions

Download now

All-flash buyer’s guide

Tips for evaluating Solid-State Arrays

Download now

Enabling enterprise machine and deep learning with intelligent storage

The power of AI can only be realised through efficient and performant delivery of data

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/security/355013/10-quick-tips-to-identifying-phishing-emails
Security

10 quick tips to identifying phishing emails

16 Mar 2020
Visit/business-strategy/mergers-and-acquisitions/354941/panda-security-to-be-acquired-by-watchguard
mergers and acquisitions

Panda Security to be acquired by WatchGuard

9 Mar 2020
Visit/security/internet-security/354417/avast-and-avg-extensions-pulled-from-chrome
internet security

Avast and AVG extensions pulled from Chrome

19 Dec 2019
Visit/security/354156/google-confirms-android-cameras-can-be-hijacked-to-spy-on-you
Security

Google confirms Android cameras can be hijacked to spy on you

20 Nov 2019

Most Popular

Visit/security/privacy/355155/zoom-kills-facebook-integration-after-data-transfer-backlash
privacy

Zoom kills Facebook integration after data transfer backlash

30 Mar 2020
Visit/infrastructure/server-storage/355118/hpe-warns-of-critical-bug-that-destroys-ssds-after-40000-hours
Server & storage

HPE warns of 'critical' bug that destroys SSDs after 40,000 hours

26 Mar 2020
Visit/security/data-breaches/355173/marriott-hit-by-data-breach-exposing-personal-data-of-52-million
data breaches

Marriott data breach exposes personal data of 5.2 million guests

31 Mar 2020
Visit/security/cyber-crime/355171/fbi-warns-of-zoom-bombing-hackers-amidst-coronavirus-usage-spike
cyber crime

FBI warns of ‘Zoom-bombing’ hackers amid coronavirus usage spike

31 Mar 2020