Business email hack rises by 1,760% in 2023 – Report

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

The cybersecurity platform, Perception Point, has disclosed a staggering 1,760% surge in Business Email Compromise attacks in 2023, propelled by the advancements in generative AI.

“This past year has been defined by unprecedented advancements in technology, particularly the widespread usability of generative AI (GenAI),” the report added.

Cybercriminals, leveraging generative AI, are now adept at crafting sophisticated emails that mimic companies and business executives, deceiving unsuspecting victims into surrendering sensitive data and financial assets.

In its Annual Report, Perception Point highlighted the transformative impact of generative AI on cybercrime, emphasizing its widespread use by attackers.

The report noted a significant shift, with BEC attacks constituting only 1% of cyberattacks in 2022 but escalating dramatically to 18.6% in the following year.

BEC is a type of cybercrime where the scammer uses email to trick someone into sending money or divulging confidential company information which can be used to defraud the company.

The cybersecurity firm underscored the broader adoption of web-based productivity tools and Software-as-a-Service applications by organizations, making web browsers the most utilized enterprise application.

This expansion has not gone unnoticed by cyber attackers, who have employed increasingly sophisticated evasion techniques to exploit vulnerabilities within these digital ecosystems.

While generative AI played a pivotal role in cyber threats in 2023, Perception Point highlighted that attackers also utilized other tools. According to the company, there was also a considerable increase in phishing via malicious QR codes (“quishing”), comprising 2.7% of all phishing attacks. Moreover, attackers also managed to exploit the inherent trust users have in QR codes, with a concerning 6% of all QR codes sent via email found to be malicious.

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