Media releases are provided as is by companies and have not been edited or checked for accuracy. Any queries should be directed to the company itself.
  • 30 November 2021 16:21

How to Recognize a Phishing Attack and Other Useful Tips

Phishing has been present since the mid 1990s with the first malicious email being identified in 1995. With the introduction of the infamous Love Bug virus in 2000, this cyber threat soared to worldwide prominence

Phishing has been present since the mid-1990s with the first malicious email being identified in 1995. With the introduction of the infamous Love Bug virus in 2000, this cyber threat soared to worldwide prominence. The email arrived with an attachment that was supposedly a love letter, which fooled many individuals into opening it. Believe it or not, identical approaches like this are used by hackers even today.

Simply put, phishing is difficult to stop since it is based on deceit. While systems can be fortified with layers of resistance, the human aspect remains a concern. In this article, I will go into the realm of phishing and all you need to know about it from the basics to recommendations on how to enhance your approach and achieve greater protection.

What Is Phishing?

Scammers use email or text communications to deceive you and trick you into providing personal information. They may attempt to get your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security number. They might acquire access to your email, bank, or other accounts if they obtain such information. Every day, scammers attempt hundreds of phishing assaults like this, and they are frequently successful. In one year, consumers lost $57 million to phishing operations, according to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Scamming techniques are always evolving, but there are several telltale signals that will help you spot a phishing email or text message. One thing to remember is that phishing emails and SMS messages may appear to be from a firm or individual you recognize or trust.

Types of Attacks

There are three major variations of phishing attacks:

1. Email phishing

2. Spear phishing

3. CEO fraud

1. Email Phishing

The most prevalent sort of phishing attempt is email phishing. Malicious actors are seen sending emails that imitate the logos and messaging of well-known businesses or firm contractors. They carefully conceal malicious links or macro attachments in the email text and persuade naive workers to download data-stealing malware into business PCs and other devices. Email addresses that are misspelled are usually spam. These intended errors are generally subtle, making them difficult to spot. Be cautious of creative alterations that replace certain letters or numerals with others that look similar. It's never a good idea to click on a shortened link in an email since you may not realize where it takes you until it's too late.

2. Spear Phishing

Although spear phishing is a type of email phishing, it varies from the latter in that it is more targeted. To carry out such an attack, hackers begin by acquiring open-source intelligence from publicly accessible sources such as online publications, social media, or corporate websites. With this information in hand, hackers proceed to masquerade as trusted personnel from the firm, making them much more hazardous. Knowing how to recognize this form of attack is, therefore, critical for protection from spear phishing.

If an email attachment requests your network login credentials or other sensitive information, it's advised to err on the side of caution and report the email. While most of us utilize shared folders such as Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive for work, a link to them can occasionally include harmful malware.

3. CEO Fraud

CEO fraud, also known as whaling, is a highly focused sort of spear phishing in which cybercriminals explicitly imitate a company's CEO. This operation seeks to persuade workers to provide sensitive financial information, as well as login credentials and other private information. While this is the most compelling hoax yet, it is also the most obvious. Is it common for your company's CEO to send emails to random workers seeking money transfers or login credentials? For most businesses, the answer is almost always no.

Ways to Prevent Phishing

A. Security Awareness Training

When it comes to workplace cybersecurity, human error is still one of organizations’ biggest weaknesses. Additionally, with new types of cyberattacks appearing on a regular basis, it might be tough for the average individual to keep up. As a result, your organization should provide continuing security awareness training to its staff.

B. Strong AntiVirus Solution

An antivirus solution, which is designed to examine files for any evidence of malicious code insertion, can also assist to guard against phishing attempts. When danger is detected, antivirus software prevents the infected file from executing itself, thus obstructing hackers from delivering their payload on your organization's network.

C. Implement DKIM, SPF, and DMARC

Adopt the latest email authentication protocols such as DKIM, SPF, and DMARC to ensure that your domain is free of spoofing and phishing attempts. These protocols use various methods to ensure that outbound and inbound emails cannot be faked by an impostor. These measures bolster brand security as well as brand image. A customer is more likely to trust a secure brand rather than an unsecured one. Use EmailAuth’s free SPF, DKIM, and DMARC checker tool to check your records.

There are various other ways in which you can bolster your email and internet surfing. Make sure you don’t leave anything behind to ensure the safety and security of your data and money while surfing online. To learn more about email authentication, head to EmailAuth.

Submit a media release