Home » 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 Government Threats Report, mobile fishing There is also an increased vulnerability risk for devices within US government agencies (federal, state, and local). In fact, nearly 50% of all phishing attacks targeting a government employee in 2021 were trying to steal the employee’s credentials, up from his 30% in 2020.

In addition to the rise in phishing attacks against public officials, the report’s findings include:

  • Federal, state, and local governments have increased their reliance on unmanaged mobile devices by 55% from 2020 to 2021.
  • One in eight government employees was threatened with phishing. With more than 2 million federal employees alone, this represents a significant potential attack surface, as a phishing attack could compromise an entire government agency with just one successful him. .
  • From 2020 to 2021, state and local government mobile phishing encounter rates rose steadily for both managed and unmanaged devices, increasing by 48% and 25%, respectively. This steady rise continues through the first half of 2022.
  • Attackers are becoming more sophisticated, with 16% of phishing attacks also attempting to deliver malware.
  • Nearly 50% of state and local government employees run outdated Android operating systems, exposing hundreds of devices to vulnerabilities. However, this is his over 99% improvement in 2021.

Phishing attacks against governments are particularly impactful

Government agencies store and transmit a wide variety of sensitive data, the security of which is vital to the health of hundreds of millions of people. Compromises to government agencies that result in data leaks, stolen credentials, or forced outages due to ransomware can have a disproportionate impact compared to normal cases. cyber security incident.

Image Source: Lookout

Additionally, government employees use iOS, Android, and ChromeOS devices every day to stay productive and increase efficiency. Their devices are treasure troves of data and gateways to government infrastructure, making them targets for cyber attackers. Due to the personal nature of smartphones, tablets and Chromebooks, Endpoint security Users, devices, and organizations must be protected while respecting user privacy.


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Image Source: Lookout

Tony D’Angelo, Lookout’s Vice President of Public Sector Americas, said: “Protecting these modern endpoints, whether the device is managed or not, requires a different approach, built from the ground up for mobile. It can detect mobile threats in device operating systems and network connections, and protect against phishing attacks that steal credentials and deliver malware.”


The Lookout Government Threat Report is based on analysis of federal, state, and local government organization-specific data from the Lookout Security Graph. With graphs that include telemetry data from analyzing over 205 million devices and over 175 million apps, Lookout identifies the most prominent mobile security challenges faced by government agencies in the first half of 2021 and 2022. We were able to identify and analyze threats. The information used in this report was compiled from anonymized and aggregated Lookout data.

read full report from lookout.

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