Define spear phishing
A type of phishing called spear phishing targets certain businesses or people. Cybercriminals pose as trustworthy organizations in order to get sensitive information from their victims through phishing emails or harmful links. Due of its individualized character, this social engineering method is far more harmful and can affect even tech-savvy digital natives. Millions of dollars have already been spent on it by several US corporations and organizations.
Phishing versus spear phishing
Spear phishing is a targeted assault on one specific target or to obtain a specific piece of data, whereas phishing is a random attempt to target as many contacts as possible.It often targets one or a small number of people, thoroughly investigates possible victims, and has a more focused agenda for them. It is more qualitative and targeted than regular phishing, which is quantitative.
Spear phishing is one of the most successful assaults because of this. The most common kind of targeted assaults, according to Symanetc’s Internet Security Threat Report 2019, is spear-phishing. 65 percent of hacking groups utilized it in 2019 mostly for intelligence collection.
Examples of spear phishing
Following are some examples of spear phishing:
- Cybercriminals may wish to attack a firm’s CEO in order to steal data or a person in charge of the security of the company in order to obtain some crucial logins. Attacks against such older citizens are also referred to as whaling;
- To choose which individuals to target, internet thieves conduct thorough research about the organization. In these circumstances, LinkedIn is extremely helpful;
- Instead of sending bulk generic texts, cybercriminals tailor their communications;
- To sound more sincere, they mimic the company’s communication standards, practices, and tones of voice.
They can make many fictitious inquiries ahead to learn more about the company’s communication styles. For instance, if they are aware of when such requests are made, they can make a money request on the business’ payday;
- They use programs that provide temporary email services to browse through the company’s emails and produce ones that seem similar.
Preventing spear phishing
- Never click on links or open attachments from persons or organizations you don’t know or think are dubious. always perform some preliminary research;
- Always double-check with a person or organization via their official channels if you get a questionable communication from someone you know or who appears trustworthy;
- Never make public the email addresses of your business. Use an online contact form to speak with your clients instead;
- educate your staff on the many spear-phishing techniques;
- Use the latest recent security programs. Additionally, we advise making use of Threat Protection on FreeZone VPN. It assists you in locating malware-infected files, prevents you from visiting dangerous websites, and immediately eliminates trackers and invasive adverts.
- To make sure everything is correct, always check the sender’s email address. A clear warning sign is the slightest deviation from a genuine one (such as a misspelling);
- Don’t share too much information on social media. Never divulge any internal information about your business’s operations, communication patterns, or personnel information. just convey the impartial and most important information;
- Grammar errors in emails are another cause for concern;
- Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication.