Up to a year ago, most phishing emails were all about tricking users into clicking on malicious links that led to malware downloads. Starting last fall, however, the use of attachments increased eight-fold, and that increase has persisted to this day, according to a new report from Proofpoint.
Attachments were barely on the radar at the start of 2014, but began slowly picking up in the spring, with growth accelerating in the fall. By the end of the year, phishing emails were evenly divided between URLs and attachments. Then URL use declined at the start of this year, and the use of attachments continued to climb, to the point where they were outnumbering URLs four-to-one by April.