It is very important to go through this article so as to understand the tricks surrounding Phishing and Phishers. In this short but extensive article on Phishing, we shall be discussing phishing and best practices to avoid the bad boys.
Note: Most phishing is particular to emails and digital messages.
Table of content:
WHAT IS PHISHING?
Phishing is a type of scam that attempts to gain personal information by pretending to be an official email from a trusted source. Phishers can disguise themselves as banks, businesses, government agencies, and even your friends.
Phishing scam emails can be as authentic-looking as real emails. Most often, they come complete with official logos with contact information. Usually, the fishers ask you to enter your private login information to verify or correct a “problem” or an issue pertaining to your account. Once you enter your password, your private information is now in the hands of the bad boys (scammers).
Brief History of Phishing Practices
Phishing started in the mid-1990s with the goal of luring users to voluntarily give information such as account credentials or other sensitive data. In essence, phishing scams have been around for nearly 30 years, and they don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Phishing scams have greatly evolved since their early days. Currently, it includes sophisticated techniques such as social engineering. While most phishing attacks back in the day were sent in mass in the hopes of ‘catching’ a few users, this is not the case with many of these attacks nowadays, which often target very specific personnel or users.
TYPES OF PHISHING
Phishing as explained is when cyber attackers send you an email pretending to be someone you know, in order to trick you into clicking on the link or opening the attachment with the malware in it. These emails appear to come from a legitimate source. They may request personal information containing a link from a malicious site or have destructive software attached.
Below are some of the most common tricks used in Phishing attacks:
- Spear phishing
Spear phishing is a type of phishing where the email is targeted at a particular person or company. Typically, the attacker has done research to better understand their target. They gather intel from social media or prior emails from unsuspecting friends or co-workers. You should always be aware of your online presence and social media trail, outside of work as well, excess personal information online makes you and your friends an easier target for spear phishing.
Smishing short for (SMS) phishing is a type of phishing, similar to local phishing, except the bad actors, use text messages and try to get you to give them private information or download a program infected with malware. This kind of phishing is a variety of phishing that leverages phone calls, voice notes as well as simple text messages or bulk SMS.
Note: No matter the tactics, the goal is always the same, which is to collect your private information.
A common example of a smishing attack is an SMS message that looks like it came from your banking institution. It tells you your account has been compromised and that you need to respond immediately. The attacker asks you to verify your bank account number, SSN, etc. Once the attacker receives the information, the attacker now has control over your bank account.
Whaling is an even more targeted type of phishing that goes after the whales, a marine animal even bigger than a fish. In order words, they attack big companies and businesses. A whaling attack is a method used by cybercriminals to masquerade as a senior player at an organization and directly target company seniors and other important persons in an organization.
These attacks typically target a CEO, CFO, or any CXX within an industry or a specific business. A whaling email might state that the company is facing legal consequences and that you need to click on the link to get more information.
The link takes you to a page where you are asked to enter critical data about the company such as tax ID and bank account numbers.
0% PHISHING ON BAZECITY WEB ADOPTION
At Bazecity web adoption, we feature exclusive statistics, comprehensive data, and easy-to-digest threat analysis, which allows us to prepare your website for intending cyber-attack. We ensure we apply anti-phishing solutions like securely setting up your email servers against unwanted messages, junk, and spam, to prevent phishing attacks.
While adopting your website, we ensure we use anti-phishing solutions to protect your businesses against today’s phishing attacks, which can be extremely targeted, well thought of and include a hefty amount of research work behind them. This is because attackers spend a lot of time studying their prey and only then attack.
Today’s phishing schemes cost organizations millions of dollars and include some more specific types such as Business Email Compromise (BEC) and impersonation attacks, which are extremely sophisticated.
As mentioned, since these attacks are specifically designed to exploit human nature, it is extremely important for organizations to take actions that would prevent these attacks from ever reaching their employees. Educating employees is important, but in times where remote work is so common and employees get much more emails and messages than they can deal with, let alone recognize a sophisticated attack, anti-phishing must come into play.
Bazecity web adoption enables us to identify and block the use of phishing sites in real-time. We even protect your website against previously unknown phishing sites. When a user browses your website, and prior to typing in his/her credentials, our Anti-Phishing solutions will inspect, identify, and block such phishing sites. If the site is deemed malicious, the user will not be able to enter credentials.
In conclusion, it is best to be educated and aware of the types of phishing and how best to protect your businesses. Don’t open attachments or links in unsolicited emails, even if the emails came from a recognized source. If the email is unexpected, be wary about opening the attachment while verifying the URL.