Since 2015 there has been a steady increase in threat actors’ use of SSL certificates to add an air of legitimacy to malicious websites. By the end of 2017 almost a third of phishing sites had SSL certificates, meaning their URLs began with HTTPS:// and (most) browsers displayed the all-important padlock symbol.
In recent months, however, our team has observed an even more dramatic increase in the use of SSL certificates on phishing sites, with the rate reaching 49.4 percent by the end of Q3.
To find out more about this meteoric rise in SSL certificate usage — and the reasons behind it — you can read our annual Phishing Trends and Intelligence (PTI) report and previous blog posts (1, 2) on the subject. These show that threat actors have doubled the number of malicious sites using SSL certificates on them to trick unknowing users into falling for their schemes. We’ve also recently spoken on the subject with Brian Krebs and CNET.
In this article we’d like to share the latest numbers with you, and briefly summarize a few key learning points.
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