Nov 05, 2021

Mobile phishing attacks on energy industry see 161% rise

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According to researchers from Lookout, mobile phishing attacks on the energy industry have risen by 161% since the Colonial Pipeline incident in May

Mobile phishing attacks on the energy industry are on the rise, according to researchers at Lookout. Since the Colonial Pipeline attack in May this year, the company has found that the number of such attacks has risen by 161%.

The researchers also found that the energy industry receives twice as many mobile app threats as other industries at 8%. In a report published by Lookout, it was found that 17.2% of all mobile cyber attacks globally target energy organisations. This statistic makes the industry the biggest target for cybercriminals and attackers. 

Stephen Banda, senior manager of security solutions at Lookout, said 95% of threats come from “risky apps and app vulnerabilities.”

“Many security teams may glance over mobile apps as they believe the mobile ecosystem is secure. The reality is that any app in your mobile fleet can have significant security and compliance ramifications, whether it’s the permissions they request, the SDKs they use, or the vulnerabilities they carry,” he said

Phishing exposure rates in North America more than doubled over the past year


The report also discovered that the rate of exposure to phishing attacks in North America increased by 134%, an increase of more than double over the past year. Organisations experienced an average attack rate of 13.2%, which equates to one in every nine employees,  below the average of other organisations. 

Telemetry from over 200mn devices and 150mn apps provided the data for the research, which also uncovered a rise in the attack surface or energy organisations due to a “complex supply chain relationship and digital transformation initiatives. 

These initiatives, according to Lookout, allow employees, partners, and third-party vendors to remain connected. However, it also makes energy organisations vulnerable to significant cyber risks, which could expose an entire supply chain. 


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