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Lookout Report: Phishing, Credential Theft Attacks Increased for Federal Agencies in 2020

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Information technology security company Lookout released a report stating that over 70 percent of phishing-based threats to agencies last year used tactics to obtain sensitive information through login credentials, Nextgov reported Wednesday.

The figure represents a 67 percent increase from 2019 levels and was collated from approximately 200 million government devices and 135 million related apps. Potential risks from using such apps include microphone and camera access, malicious data handling and exposure to foreign-based servers, according to Lookout.

The report also found that credential harvesting techniques significantly increased for federal agencies compared to state and local entities. Credential theft tactics that impacted federal agencies rose by 90 percent while malware attacks saw a decrease of 47 percent.

Lookout noted that pandemic-driven decisions such as the increased implementation of “bring your own device” approaches for remote work could be a contributing factor to hacker exploitation. One in 30 personnel across the government workforce was at risk of phishing attacks in 2020, the report states.

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