MARCO DEMELLO
CEO of PSafe
LETTER FROM THE CEO

In 2018, dfndr lab projected that 6.4 million Android smartphone users were victims of attacks from malicious URLs in the US. Overall, fraudulent advertisements was the chief strategy employed by cybercriminals in the past year, affecting 49.8% of total victims.

Online scams were also influenced by gender – American men were victims in 62.1% malicious URL attacks, compared to only 37.9% of women. 2 of the top 3 scams detected by dfndr lab were fraudulent advertisements. These types of scams commonly originate from adult sites, online gaming or pirated movie sites. The trend in gender attacks could be attributed to the internet habits of men and women. In Pornhub’s yearly review for 2018, 72% of American men visited the popular x-rated site versus 28% of American women.

The number one scam identified by dfndr lab in 2018 is a fraudulent advertisement promising to reveal leaked photos of Kim Kardashian, which actually led to users granting permissions to receive notifications and instead of seeing photos they were bombarded with spam ads. To illustrate the strong appeal of this type of content, Pronhub’s 2018 review revealed Kim Kardashian’s sex tape remains their most viewed video, at 185 million times. Online activities such as gaming, downloading torrents or surfing adult content are known to be riddled with malicious ads that push users to view videos, download unwanted apps or grant notifications permissions.

dfndr lab determined that 3.1 million Android users were victims of fraudulent advertisements in 2018. The best preventative measures to protect yourself against fraudulent advertisements or other schemes is to install an antivirus and antiphishing app and avoid websites where you might encounter suspicious notifications permissions or pop-up ads.

see our predictions for 2019
ATTACKS USING MALICIOUS URLS
6
/MINUTe
333
/hour
7.9
k
/daY
4
/ANDROID USER
6.4
MILLION
Android users are potential victims in the US*
SOURCES OF ATTACKS
BROWSERS
69.7%
SMS
15.7%
MESSAGING APPS
14.6%
TYPES OF ATTACKS
3.1
MILLION
Android users potentially affected by Fraudulent Advertisements in the US*
Fraudulent Advertisements
49.8%
Generic Phishing Scams
19.3%
Fake Promotions or Giveaways
11.1%
Messenger Schemes
7.8%
Banking Payment Phishing
7.1%
Fake News
1.4%
Others**
1.3%
BY GENDER
62.1%
37.9%
Men clicked on more malicious URLs than women did in 2018.
63.3%
36.7%
MEN DETECTED MORE FRAUDULENT ADVERTISEMENTS THAN WOMEN IN 2018
63.0%
37.0%
MEN DETECTED MORE Generic Phishing Scams THAN WOMEN IN 2018
61.7%
38.3%
MEN DETECTED MORE Fake Promotions or Giveaways THAN WOMEN IN 2018
69.6%
30.4%
MEN DETECTED MORE Messenger Schemes THAN WOMEN IN 2018
60.0%
40.0%
MEN DETECTED MORE Banking Payment Phishing THAN WOMEN IN 2018
61.8%
38.2%
MEN DETECTED MORE Fake News THAN WOMEN IN 2018
TOP 3 SCAMS
Leaked Kim Kardashian Pictures
The scam promised leaked photos of the reality star but led victims to grant notifications permissions and instead of seeing photos more spam ads appeared.
893K clicks and shares
Bestadbid Advertising Pop-Ups
A victim encountering this scam may have originated from a gaming site, adult site or a pirated movie site and were asked to grant notifications permissions, which led to more malicious ads.
437.8K clicks and shares
Fake Visa Gift Card
Users were prompted to provide personal information to win a bogus gift card, subsequently putting them at risk for identity theft or a malware attack.
437.5K clicks and shares