Report: Nearly 50% of phishing attacks in 2021 aimed at government employees were attempted credential theft

Report: Nearly 50% of phishing attacks in 2021 aimed at government employees were attempted credential theft

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According to Lookout’s 2022 Governing administration Threat Report, mobile phishing and device vulnerability risk within U.S. government businesses (federal, point out and nearby) is on the increase. In actuality, virtually 50% of all phishing attacks aimed at authorities staff in 2021 sought to steal employees’ credentials, up from 30% in 2020.

In addition to the maximize in phishing assaults on federal government personnel, the report’s results contain:

  • Federal, condition, and neighborhood governments improved their reliance on unmanaged cellular equipment at a amount of 55% from 2020 to 2021, indicating a shift towards BYOD to aid a larger distant workforce.
  • 1 in 8 authorities staff members had been exposed to phishing threats. With a lot more than two million federal federal government staff members alone, this signifies a significant probable assault area as it only takes a single successful phishing endeavor to compromise an complete company.
  • There was a regular rise in mobile phishing encounter charges for point out and neighborhood governments across each managed and unmanaged equipment, escalating at fees of 48% and 25% respectively from 2020 to 2021. This continuous climb ongoing via the 1st 50 % of 2022.
  • Threat actors are gaining in sophistication, with 16% of phishing attacks also trying to deliver malware.
  • Nearly 50% of condition and community govt workforce are jogging outdated Android operating systems, exposing them to hundreds of machine vulnerabilities. However, this is an advancement around 99% in 2021.

Phishing attacks on federal government are particularly impactful

Authorities companies keep and transmit a range of delicate info, the security of which is crucial to the wellbeing of hundreds of thousands and thousands of men and women. A breach of a federal government agency that effects in leaked details, stolen qualifications or a pressured halt to functions because of to ransomware can have a disproportionate impact in comparison to a standard cybersecurity incident.

Impression resource: Lookout

Moreover, government employees use iOS, Android and ChromeOS equipment just about every day to keep successful and maximize efficiency. This helps make them targets for cyberattackers as their devices are a treasure trove of data and a gateway to governing administration infrastructure. Because of the private nature of smartphones, tablets and Chromebooks, endpoint stability will have to shield the consumer, the device and the group while respecting consumer privateness.


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Impression source: Lookout

“It’s more crucial than ever for authorities companies to maintain speed with the evolution of the cyber menace environment,” said Tony D’Angelo, vice president, Americas Public Sector, Lookout. “Regardless of whether products are managed, shielding these contemporary endpoints involves a distinct technique — a person that is built from the floor up for cell. Only a modern endpoint security answer can detect mobile threats in apps, unit operating methods, and network connections while also guarding from phishing attacks that steal qualifications and supply malware.”


The Lookout Government Risk Report is based mostly on investigation of data particular to federal, point out, and local governing administration organizations from the Lookout Security Graph. The graph, which features telemetry knowledge from examination of more than 205 million units and more than 175 million apps, enabled Lookout to determine and crack down the most prominent mobile threats organizations faced in 2021 and the initially fifty percent of 2022. Info made use of in this report was compiled from de-discovered, aggregated Lookout data.

Examine the entire report from Lookout.

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