Since almost everyone uses email, it is an appealing attack way for cybercriminals who do phishing to steal passwords, deliver malware, and gain access to corporate networks.
To prevent yourself from these phishing attacks, you should know what is a common indicator of a phishing attempt.
So, let us start with a short definition, types, and indicators.
- What is Phishing?
- Types of Phishing
- What is a Common Indicator of a Phishing Attempt?
- What Type of phishing Attack Targets particular individuals?
- Common Phishing Attacks
What is Phishing?
Phishing is an online fraud in which criminals impersonate legitimate organizations via email, text messages, advertisements, and other means to steal confidential information.
This is normally accomplished by providing a connection that will appear on your screen and direct you to the company’s website, where you can fill out your details.
Types of Phishing
Phishing has several types, but some specific kinds are mentioned below:
a) Email Phishing:
This is the most common and known type of phishing. It does not target any specific group or individual but attacks on the massive audience to steal personal information by acting as a legitimate resource. The data is then used to gain access to sensitive accounts, which can lead to identity fraud and financial loss.
b) Spear Phishing:
It is phishing that attacks a specific group or individual like targeting the cloud administrator of the company. It requires deep research about the targeted victim and acts like a trustable resource. Spear phishing aims to inject malware or want to get the personal data of the victim by convincing him.
c) Smishing and Vishing:
Vishing is a phishing attack where scammers pose as bank employees or other financial service employees to convince people to exchange information over the phone.
Smishing is a form of SMS phishing in which text messages are sent to persuade people to send money or open suspicious links.
d) Angler Phishing:
Angler phishing is the act of impersonating a customer service account on social media to reach out to a displeased customer.
This type of attacks through social media. As organizations are constantly using social media to engage with their customers for different purposes as it is a convenient way for customers to ask questions or make suggestions, which cybercriminals are aware of.
What is a Common Indicator of a Phishing Attempt?
Some indicators help in detecting and identifying phishing activity in the system. These common indicators are as following:
a) Grammatical Error
Phishing emails often contain grammatical and spelling errors. The reason can be that English is the second language of the scammer or it was just to get a reply from people.
Business emails, especially official communications and marketing emails are free of spelling and grammatical errors.
b) Odd Tone and Inconsistencies
The language used in phishing emails is always strange. Emails impersonating established contacts may seem too familiar or formal and may vary from standard emails from the sender. These kinds of emails refer to their victim in a generalized way.
It may be a phishing attempt if the sound is off, or you are addressed in an unusual way. Phishing emails may also attempt to persuade you to perform unusual acts, such as sending sensitive information via email.
c) Embedded Link
Looking for differences in email addresses, connections, and domain names is another easy way to spot a possible phishing attack. It’s worth double-checking source email addresses against past correspondence, for example. If the email contains a link, hover the pointer over the link to see what ‘pops up.’ If the email claims to be from PayPal.
d) Request for Urgent Response
Any email that threatens negative consequences should be handled with caution. Another strategy is to use a sense of urgency to inspire, or even warrant, urgent action from the recipient to confuse them.
The scammer hopes that by reading the email quickly, the material would not be closely checked, allowing other phishing-related contradictions to go undetected.
e) Unknown Attachments
When receiving an email with an attachment from an unknown sender, or when the recipient did not request or plan to receive a file from the sender, the attachment should be opened with caution.
If the attached file has a file extension that is usually associated with malware downloads or if the file extension is unfamiliar.
f) Asking for Personal Information
When an intruder creates a fake landing page that recipients are guided to through a connection in an official-looking email, this is one of the most sophisticated forms of phishing emails.
A login box will be present on the false landing page, as well as a request for payment to address an outstanding problem. If the email was unexpected, recipients should go to the page where the email is said to have originated.
g) No Replies
Since phishing emails are unrequested. One popular hook is to remind the recipient that he or she has won a prize, will qualify for a prize if they respond to the email or will receive a discount if they click on a connection or open an attachment. There is a good chance the user did not start the discussion by opting in to receive marketing materials or newsletters.
What Type of phishing Attack Targets particular individuals?
A spear-phishing assault is a phishing attack that is specifically targeted. Unlike general phishing emails, which use spam-like techniques to send out mass email campaigns to thousands of people, spear-phishing emails target specific individuals within a company.
Common Phishing Attacks
- To steal people’s personal information or login credentials, scammers pose as a respectable company. Threats and a sense of urgency are frequently used in these emails to terrify recipients into doing what the attackers want.
- To fool the recipient into believing they have a connection with the sender, fraudsters personalize attack emails using the target’s name, position, company, work phone number, and other information.
- When an attacker uses a CEO’s or other high-ranking executive’s compromised email account to authorize fraudulent wire transfers to a financial institution of their choice, this is known as CEO fraud.
One can avoid spam and protect the data if he knows what is a common indicator of a phishing attempt. So, take precautionary steps and keep an eye on all the indicators to keep yourself the same from spam and intruders. Also, secure your email accounts by following the personal email security best practices.