Cybersecurity threats constantly evolve with a motive of finding new ways to annoy, steal, and harm businesses and individuals. There are different types of cyber threats that you may regularly encounter. Here, we decode the various cybersecurity threats, specifically the ones that are projected to continue to persist in the years to come. In the first segment of this series, we shall be discussing about the most common cyberthreat: Phishing.
What Is Phishing?
Have you ever received an email that appeared to be from a known person but turned out to be a misleading email? If you have opened the email or any of the links shared, you might just be a victim of a phishing attack. A phishing attack is the most common form of a cyber attack, commonly initiated via email. “91% of the cyber attacks start with a phishing email.” – Digital Guardian.
Phishing includes stealing passwords, credit card numbers, login credentials, bank account details, and other confidential information. It is internet fraud that acquires a user’s credentials with a motive to deceive. These messages are normally received in the form of fake notifications from an employer, colleagues, banks, or financial institutions. The email notification is sent to encourage the recipient to share personal information, which might result in loss of data or system breakdown.
Few More Facts on Phishing Attacks:
- The average lifetime of a phishing website is just five days. Phishers constantly look for new websites that imitate original, credible ones as anti-phishing filters locate a new threat quickly.
- The quality of phishing emails is more than average. When users receive high-quality emails, they may not suspect the authenticity of the website while entering their signup credentials.
- When someone involved in the illegal business is caught by legal enforcement authorities, they can be prosecuted. Therefore, phishers most-often get rid of the stolen data by selling it in the black market.
- Data related to bank accounts, e-auctions, and financial transactions are of interest to fraudsters as it provides easy access to money.
- Email credential theft is also popular because it can be sold to cybercriminals, which they in turn use for the distribution of viruses or to create zombie networks.
- Phishers use links that are very similar to the original URL so that the user can be easily led astray. Though the phishing URLs appear to be a legitimate company URL, they often include the name of the original URL, with additional words. The fake URL may also include dots instead of slashes.
- Phishing emails usually appear as a rescue message or something that must be attended to right away. This is done to address the basic instinct of a human.
Common Phishing Threats And How Organizations Can Stay Safe
|S.No.||Type of Phishing Attack||How it is executed||Objective of the attack||How to avoid|
|1.||Deceptive Phishing||Email from recognized sources claims to verify your account, re-enter your details, etc.||To encourage you to provide your bank details.||Inspect the URL carefully before entering any information.|
|2.||Spear Phishing||Sophisticated to deceptive attack where phisher uses available information to acquire more details||Target to acquire your bank details, credit card details or other confidential information||Beware of alarming threats and learn more from cybersecurity awareness programs|
|3.||CEO Fraud||Phishers send emails asking to share confidential details via emails that impersonate that of your CEO.||To make victim transfer money directly to the scammer or share other crucial official information.||Cross-verify suspicious requests before putting the company in jeopardy.|
|4.||Pharming||Cybercriminals hijack the legitimate website and redirect the traffic to an imposter site.||To encourage the victim to share confidential details or steal online payments.||Ensure twice about the secure certification of the URL.|
|5.||Dropbox Phishing||Fake emails that appear to be from Dropbox, request the user to download a shared document or “secure” the account.||To install malware on the user’s system.||Set-up two-step verification on the accounts.|
|6.||Google Docs Phishing||Inviting to access files on google docs and tracks the user details entered to access Google.||To gain access to your Google account, GPay, and Android applications.||Always install two-step verification on your Gmail and Android or iPhone accounts.|
In our second part of this series, we shall learn about DDoS attacks. Stay tuned!
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