Knowing what is a common indicator of a phishing attempt is the most important when you have to depend on the internet. There has been a spike in the number of cybercrime cases worldwide after the pandemic crippled the global economy. Phishing Attacks are the most common ones you might have encountered. If not, check your mailbox again and keep counting how many strangers asked you to either invest in a scheme or purchase their service. Ever wonder where they collect your details and send an email? Well, that’s what a common indicator of phishing attempt is.
Let’ talk about What is Phishing Attack
Before finding an answer to what is a common indicator of a phishing attempt, it’s more important for you to get to know the term. Because just like fishing, cybercriminals use bait to get your financial details. Generally, a phishing scam is used to get your details by triggering you to perform an action. Once you do it, you are caught off-guard. Voila, the scammers have their smoked salmon or tuna salad ready for dinner.
Although phishing scams are not new, the number of phishing attacks has risen by 59% globally during the pandemic alone, reports Interpol. Threat actors behind have taken a new approach into account by generating COVID-19 themed phishing emails, often impersonating government and health authorities. You can get the rest of the idea by checking into your mailbox. The usual messages can be as pleasing as, “Congratulations, you have won $10000, click here to claim your prize,” or “Congratulations, your loan is approved.”
Different indicators of Phishing Scams
If you have been working from home due to lockdown restrictions, you must have received some emails. If you are one of the concerned ones willing to know what is a common indicator of a phishing attempt, here are some answers to suffice. Following are some Phishing attack examples you can identify in your received emails.
- A modified brand logo
- A shortened link
- A document in attachment
- Minimal content in the message body
- Attractive catchphrase
- Unknown charity organization
- Use of jargon language
Different Types of Phishing
1. Email phishing (Targeting organizations): Most phishing attacks are sent via email. The actor registers a fake domain that copies a genuine organization and spams thousands of generic requests. They can’t use the exact domain name but identical ones. For example, they might use the organisation’s name in the local part of the email address (such as firstname.lastname@example.org). This means when you receive their mail, the username will show up as PayPal.
2. Spear Phishing (Targeting Important Persons): This is one of the types of phishing attacks in which the actor has some information of the target users, such as their names, Place, Job Details, or email address. The hacking incident of the Democratic National Committee in 2016. What appeared as simple updates from Google turned out as emails sent by the Russian hackers to the committee members.
3. Whaling: This phishing attempt is similar to the previous ones; however, the only difference is that it’s more targeted to a highly influential person in an organization such as CEOs, Directors, or head of the organizations. The actor pretends to be a senior-level staff to leave a big impact on the recipient. Tax return scams most commonly fall under this category.
4. Smishing and Vishing: Smishing and vishing refers to when the method of scamming changes to text and telephonic conversations. However, the content and intent of the message are same. Smishing involves the text message while vishing involves a telephonic conversation.
In vishing scam, actor pretends to be from a reputed agency convincing the victim that their account has been compromised. The Microsoft tech support scams are most common Phishing Attack examples. Check Jim Browning’s YouTube channel for more awareness.
5. Angler Phishing: This attack uses social media platforms to trick victims. This attack can be carried out in multiple ways through fake URLs, cloned websites, social media posts, or tweets. All these platforms can convince victims to divulge sensitive information or download malware onto their systems. Angler Phishing is easiest for cybercriminals as they mine user’s information through the information shared on social networking sites.
A fair warning by Interpol
- The story just doesn’t end here, the report issued by the Interpol warns about more phishing attempts in the near future.
- Cybercriminals are likely to continue to run coronavirus-themed online scams and phishing campaigns to misuse people’s fear amid the growing pandemic crisis.
- There will be another spike in phishing related to medical products related to COVID-19 vaccine as well as network intrusion and cyberattacks to steal data.
Have you found what is a common indicator of a phishing attempt?
The information pretty much answers the commonest of ways to spot a phishing attempt whether you’re working from home or studying for your college. All the phishing attempts aim at one ultimate target, and that’s your personal information or card details.
Otherwise, phishing attempts are targeted to obtain employee login information or other details to damage an organization’s goodwill or carry out an attack against a specific company. Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) and Ransomware are common start with phishing attempts.
How to Prevent Phishing Attacks?
It Seems Merely Knowing Iot And Internet Terminology Is Not Enough To Protect Yourself From Looming Online Threats. As An Employee, You Should Educate Yourself About The Potential Risks Involved In Phishing Scams. Identifying Phishing Emails And How Not To Falling Victim To Scammers Are The Most Important Things. Real-Case Scenarios And Simulations In A Working Environment Must Be Exercised To Avoid Future Mishaps.
No Single Cybersecurity Technology Can Work Single-Handedly To Prevent Phishing Attempts. Organizations Need To Have A Multi-Layered & Multi-Dimensional Approach To Circumcise The Number Of Attacks And Limit Their Impact.
Besides Implementing Network Security Methods Such As Email & Web Security, Malware Protection, User Behavior Monitoring, Or Access Control, Professionals Should Also Use Their Intelligence To Play Their Part In A Secured Environment. Identifying a common indicator of a phishing attempt is good start to stay. I hope now you got the answer of, “What is a Common Indicator of a Phishing Attempt?”.