Want to scam people? Or, instal some malware?
In Q4 2019, KnowBe4 analysed tens of thousands of email subject lines from simulated phishing tests along with ‘in-the-wild’ subject lines from actual emails that people received and reported to their IT departments as suspicious.
Here are the top 10 general topics used in deceptive subject lines :
- Change of Password Required Immediately – 26%
- Microsoft/Office 365: De-activation of Email in Process – 14%
- Password Check Required Immediately – 13%
- HR: Employees Raises – 8%
- Dropbox: Document Shared With You – 8%
- IT: Scheduled Server Maintenance – No Internet Access – 7%
- Office 365: Change Your Password Immediately – 6%
- Avertissement des RH au sujet de l’usage des ordinateurs personnels – 6%
- Airbnb: New device login – 6%
- Slack: Password Reset for Account – 6%
When examining ‘in-the-wild’ email subject lines, the company found that the most common ones are:
- SharePoint: Approaching SharePoint Site Storage Limit
- Microsoft: Anderson Hauck has shared a Whiteboard with you
- Office 365: Medium-severity alert: Unusual volume of file deletion
- FedEx: Correct address needed for your package delivery on [[current_date_0]]
- USPS: Your digital receipt is ready
- Twitter: Your Twitter account has been locked
- Google: Please Complete the Required Steps
- Cash App: Your Account Has Been Closed
- Coinbase: Important Please Resolve Error Now
- Would you mind taking a look at this invoice?
Moreover, KnowBe4 also reports that 39% of users have been falling for simulated phishing tests saying a password should be checked immediately.
The most-clicked social media deceptive subject lines referenced LinkedIn (55%) and Facebook (28%).
Email users should be “especially cautious if an email seems too good to be true, such as a giveaway,” states Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4.