One of the most significant online business hazards is phishing. A phishing attack affected more than 80% of organizations last year, according to Proofpoint's 2021 State of the Phish Report.
According to expert reviews in tech events of 2022, such as the Internet 2.0 Conference, one of the most annoying aspects is that even though most people know what phishing is and how it operates, many still fall victim to it.
The increasing sophistication of phishing attacks has facilitated that. Although they may still be trying to steal our personal information or infect our gadgets, there are now many ways to do so.
This blog will examine the most typical phishing types discussed at the Internet 2.0 Conference, so you can recognize scams when you see them.
Phishing in emails
Email phishing, often known as "deception phishing," is one of the most well-known attack types. To trick consumers into clicking on a link or downloading an asset, malicious actors send emails to users pretending to be well-known companies. They then employ social engineering techniques to make the communication seem more urgent.
Usually, the links lead to dangerous websites where users' devices are infected with malware or passwords are stolen. Malicious content is stored in the downloads, which are often PDFs, and when the user reads the document, the malware is installed.
Phishing over HTTPS
To strengthen security, the hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) is frequently regarded as a "safe" link to click. Nowadays, HTTPS is preferred over HTTP by the majority of trustworthy enterprises since it establishes trust. Cybercriminals are now using HTTPS in the links they include in phishing emails.
Spear phishing employs email, but it adopts a more focused strategy. According to the Internet 2.0 Conference experts, Open-source intelligence (OSINT) is the first tool cybercriminals use to obtain data from published or publicly accessible sources, such as social media or a business website. Then, to make the receiver believe the email is coming from someone else inside the company, they target specific people within the business using legitimate names, job titles, or work telephone numbers. In the end, the recipient acts upon the email's directive since they think it is an inside request.
Vishing, also known as voice phishing, occurs when a cybercriminal phones a phone number and instills a false feeling of urgency, leading the target to act against their better judgment. These calls typically come in during stressful situations. For instance, during tax season, many people receive phony phone calls from individuals posing as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), saying they want to conduct an audit and require a social security number. The call's recipient may be duped into disclosing personal information because the call conveys a sense of urgency and concern.
Hackers that want to appear first in a search using a search engine employ search engine phishing, sometimes referred to as SEO poisoning or SEO Trojans. You are taken to the hacker's website by clicking on the link that is displayed by the search engine. When you engage with the website or enter sensitive data, threat actors can use that information to steal your information. Hacker websites can pretend to be any website, but banks, money transfer services, social media platforms, and shopping sites are the most popular targets.
According to reviews at the Internet 2.0 Conference, social media has become another well-liked target for phishing assaults as bad actors switch between attack routes. Angler phishing is when a cybercriminal uses notifications or direct messaging tools of a social networking platform to persuade someone to act, similar to vishing and smishing.
Pharming is increasingly sophisticated and frequently more challenging to catch. The malicious actors take control of a DNS server, which converts URLs from human-readable English into IP addresses. The DNS server then refers the user to an IP address for a malicious website that can appear legitimate when they fill in the website address.
Clone phishing is a targeted email phishing assault that uses previously used services to cause negative behavior. Most commercial programs that demand users to click links as part of daily tasks are known to be malicious actors. They frequently research what services a company routinely utilizes before sending emails specifically targeted and purporting to be from these services. For instance, hostile actors may create bogus emails for the DocuSign service, which many firms use to transmit and receive electronic contracts.
Guidelines To Recognize And Avoid Phishing Attacks
Studying real-world phishing cases is one of the best strategies to guard against becoming one victim, according to one of the speakers at the Internet 2.0 Conference. You may learn what to look for when identifying a phishing assault from this Federal Trade Commission (FTC) tutorial and the measures you can take to report an attack to the FTC and prevent further data breaches. In general, consider the following indicators to spot a potential phishing attack:
You receive an email requesting confirmation of personal data: It's a clear indication that the source is unreliable if you receive an email that appears genuine but came out of the blue.
Bad grammar: Misspelled words, bad grammar, or an odd phrase turn are clear signs of a phishing effort.
Messages regarding a demanding circumstance: Take caution if communication seems intended to frighten you into acting immediately; hackers use this tactic frequently.
Suspicious attachments or links: Never open an unknown attachment if you unexpectedly receive a message urging you to do so unless you are positive the sender is a reliable contact.
Offers seem too fantastic to be genuine: If someone contacts you about what appears to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it's a scam.
Making sure you have a dependable antivirus is the second-best line of security against all kinds of phishing attacks and cyberattacks in general. Use free antivirus software, at the very least, to better safeguard your data and better defend yourself from online thieves. Upcoming tech events will discuss the steps to choose the best antivirus based on your needs.