Phishing attacks are already well known and familiar to many types of fraud. The main purpose of phishing attacks is to gain access to the user's personal data for further personal use. This can be spamming your account, registering on unnecessary services, stealing money from your bank account and much more. Spear phishing is a subspecies of this scam and is a much more serious threat, as such hackers do not cast a large fishing net, but select a specific person to obtain specific data about him.
Spear phishing is a type of social engineering that targets a specific person. The attack on such a person is prepared purposefully, and it is very difficult to recognize the phishing. An email received from scammers may have almost no signs of spear phishing, so nowadays it is very important to protect your personal data and take care of its protection.
As a rule, the victims of spear phishing attacks are employees of companies. Fraudsters attack PR departments, HR departments and other departments involved in receiving and forwarding large amounts of emails. Employees in those departments are usually more neutral in their reaction to an e-mail from an unknown source. But it's the accounting departments of the companies which are the most exposed to phishing attacks. After all, phishing scams can get the data on bank transfers and change the recipient. Money and valuable information are the main targets of Spear Phishing attacks.
Identifying a phishing attack can be very difficult because a letter to an employee usually comes from a known email address, for example on behalf of the CEO. The language of communication as a rule is also familiar to a person, and at first, it may seem that it is a normal working letter. But it is worth noting that the main signs of phishing are the call to action and the requirements of an urgent task.
If you work in a corporate environment and have access to some valuable information you should immediately alert letters with similar signs:
The most important phishing indicator is that the email is not sent from a corporate domain. The email address may match, but the domain will be different. The domain name may also be misspelled. At first glance, it can even be noticed. Let’s look at the example of the word "Lithium". The fraudster can replace one of the letters "i" with "l" and if you look carelessly it may seem that the letter was received from a familiar address.
It's important not to neglect two-factor authentication for every account, use strong passwords, and take care of secure storage of important data. It's also critical to take the time to check everything that comes to your email box and to carefully verify domain names, especially if they are related to corporate email or requests related to monetary transactions.
Nowadays, when almost all information about a person and all business communication and money turnover is online, anyone can become a victim of a phishing attack, and the best way to protect against phishing cyberattacks is to be prepared for them. According to research, there were more than one million phishing attacks in the first quarter of 2022, and identity theft was up 7% from last year. So don't neglect your digital security, stay alert, and make sure you're well protected in case of emergencies.
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