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Lookout Study Finds Increased Mobile Phishing Attacks Against Government Agencies

1 min read

Incidents of mobile phishing attacks on government personnel rose from 30 percent in 2020 to nearly 50 percent in 2021, according to a new Lookout report.

Conversely, the cloud security company reported an improvement in Android system upgrades among state and government users, with only 50 percent running outdated operating systems in 2021 compared to 99 percent in the previous year.

Lookout related the increase in remote work setups to federal, state and local government entities’ dependence on unmanaged mobile devices. It also found that more than 12 percent of the employees were exposed to threats of credential theft, putting agencies at great risk of potential attacks.

In 2021, mobile phishing encounter rates were 48 percent and 25 percent, respectively, among state and local governments whether they had managed or unmanaged devices. More incidents were reported in the first half of this year.

“It’s more important than ever for government agencies to keep pace with the evolution of the cyber threat environment. Regardless of whether devices are managed, protecting these modern endpoints requires a different approach — one that is built from the ground up for mobile,” said Tony D’Angelo, vice president of Lookout’s Americas public sector business.