The number of email-borne cyber-threats blocked by Trend Micro surged by triple digits last year, highlighting the continued risk from conventional attack vectors.

The vendor stopped over 33.6 million such threats reaching customers via cloud-based email in 2021, a 101% increase. This included 16.5 million phishing emails, a 138% year-on-year increase, of which 6.5 million were credential phishing attempts.

Trend Micro also blocked 3.3 million malicious files in cloud-based emails, including a 134% increase in known threats and a 221% increase in unknown malware.

The news comes as Proofpoint warned in a new report of the continued dangers posed by social engineering, and the mistaken assumptions many users make.

Many users don’t realize that threat actors may spend considerable time and effort building a rapport over email with their victims, especially if they’re trying to conduct a business email compromise (BEC) attack, it said.

They may also abuse legitimate services from Google, Microsoft and other sources to host and distribute malware and credential harvesting portals. OneDrive is the most frequently used, followed by Google Drive, Dropbox, Discord, Firebase and SendGrid, according to the report.


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