File picture: AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee/AP

CAPE TOWN - Multinational cybersecurity and anti-virus provider Kaspersky Lab released their ‘Spam and phishing in Q1 2018’ report.

According to their report, fake Facebook websites are one of the most used techniques hackers use to lure their victims. 

The firm reports that during the first quarter of 2018, the Facebook brand was being spoofed by 58.69 percent of phishing sites. 

This doesn’t mean Facebook was compromised, but rather that cybercriminals created carbon copies of the site.

Kaspersky explains that fake Facebook and Facebook pages were created by cybercriminals to try and steal personal data via phishing attacks. 

“The continuous increase in phishing attacks – targeting both social networks and financial organisations – shows us that users need to pay more serious attention to their online activities. Despite the recent global scandals, people continue to click on unsafe links and allow unknown apps access to their personal data,” Kaspersky Lab’s Nadezhda Demidova said in a statement.

Facebook is not the only target however, Russia’s Vkontakte was used by 20.86 percent of phishing sites while LinkedIn was used by 12.91 percent.

Other key findings in the report include:


1. The main targets of phishing attacks have remained the same since the end of last year. They are primarily global Internet portals and the financial sector, including banks, payment services and online stores.

2. Attacks against banks, e-shops, and payment systems remain the top three, demonstrating cybercriminals’ desire to access users’ money.

3. Brazil was the country with the largest share of users attacked by phishers in the first quarter of 2018 (19%). It was followed by Argentina (13%), Venezuela (13%), Albania (13%), and Bolivia (12%).


1. In the first quarter of 2018, the amount of spam peaked in January (55%). The average share of spam in the world’s email traffic was 52%, which is 4.6% lower than the average figure of the last quarter of 2017.

2. Vietnam became the most popular source of spam, overtaking the U.S. and China. Others in the top 10 included India, Germany, France, Brazil, Russia, Spain, and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

3. The country most targeted by malicious mailshots was Germany. Russia came second, followed by United Kingdom, Italy, and the UAE.

(Image provided by Kaspersky lab)