Spear phishing attacks are nothing new, but the tactics used by cybercriminals continue to evolve. It can be difficult to detect spear-phishing attacks, as they often use information that is specific to the target.

Don’t worry, ZZ Computer will provide you with the five common spear-phishing tricks that you need to watch out for! Before that, what is spear phishing?

What Are Spear Phishing Attacks?

Targeted attacks in which attackers send emails to specific persons or groups inside an organization in order to steal sensitive data are known as spear-phishing attacks. These emails frequently include a malicious link that, when clicked, installs malware onto the user’s computer.

How do spear-phishing attacks work?

Do you understand what a spear-phishing attack entails? If you don’t, you aren’t alone. Many people are unfamiliar with the principles of these types of attacks. We’ll go over spear-phishing strategies and how they’re carried out in this part.

You should be wary of the following spear-phishing strategies:

Get your credentials together

An email harvesting attack is one of the most prevalent techniques for attackers to obtain access to credentials. This entails collecting emails from publicly available sources and then sending spear-phishing emails. This method is frequently used to target high-profile people or organizations.

Spoofing emails

One of the most prevalent spear-phishing attacks is this one. It entails sending fake emails that look to come from a reliable source, such as a coworker or a company executive. This method is frequently used to persuade victims to share sensitive information or click on malicious links.

Social media manipulation

Many spear-phishing attempts make use of social media to obtain information or personal information about the victim. This can be accomplished by creating bogus internet profiles, extracting personal information from public profiles, or persuading victims to divulge sensitive data.

Filtering of egress

Egress filtering is used by many businesses to safeguard their networks against harmful activities. Attackers, on the other hand, can take advantage of this by sending corrupted packets through these monitoring systems. This makes it easier for them to carry out their spear-phishing attacks and obtain information without being discovered. This information will be used for nefarious purposes.

5 Common spear-phishing techniques  you need to watch out

Cyberphasing
Cyberphasing

Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to scam people and companies out of their money or personal information. While phishing attacks can come in all shapes and sizes, here are five of the most common spear-phishing techniques that you need to watch out for.

1. Fake emails that look like they’re from a credible source

A spoofed email is one of the most popular types of spear-phishing assaults. This frequently entails sending malicious emails that look to come from a reliable source. These malicious emails may include harmful attachments or URLs that might infect your computers.

2. Urgent messages with demands for action:

CEO fraud scams are another sort of spear-phishing attack. This involves attackers sending emails that appear to be from a company boss, seeking money or confidential information from the victim.

Urgent requests for money transfers, ambiguous or suspicious wording, unrealistic timeframes, and requests for personal details such as login credentials are all examples.

3. Business Email Compromise (BEC Attacks):

A Business Email Compromise (BEC) is what many spear phishers are actively trying to create. This type of attack uses an impersonated, spoofed, or hacked corporate email account to trick employees into wire transfer payments or sharing confidential information. Spear phishing is a sophisticated form of phishing that targets specific individuals or organizations. The attackers do their homework by researching their victims and crafting personalized messages that appear to be from a trusted source.

Spear phishers often use the same email address for multiple attacks, making it easy to spot BEC attempts in your inbox. If you receive an email that looks suspicious, do not click on any links or attachments. Instead, forward the message to your IT department or security team for analysis. By being vigilant, you can help to protect your organization from falling victim to a costly BEC attack.

4. Links to malicious websites or downloads:

In a spear-phishing email, attackers will try to get you to click on a malicious link that will take you to a fake website. This fake website may look identical to a legitimate website, but it will be used for malicious purposes mainly to gather your personal information.

Other times, spear phishing messages will include malicious attachments in their emails. These malicious attachments may contain viruses or other malware that can infect your computer if you open them.

5. Request for sensitive  personal information:

A common spear-phishing email tactic is to request sensitive data from the victim. This may include your Social Security number, bank account information, or credit card number.

Spear phishers may pose as a credible organization, such as your bank, and try to trick you into sharing this confidential information. They may also use urgent request tactics to try to get you to comply with their demands.

Phishing VS Spear phishing VS Whaling

Man in black long sleeve shirt holding macbook pro

Phishing, spear-phishing, and whaling assaults are various forms of cybercrime that entail duping someone into handing over sensitive information. While they all use similar techniques, these three types of attacks have significant key differences.

Don’t worry; we’ll go over each one and discuss how to protect yourself from them. Watch this space!

Phishing

When it comes to phishing VS spear-phishing VS whaling, the main difference is the target. The target is what distinguishes spear phishing from normal phishing. Spear phishing is a more targeted attack than phishing, which targets a bigger number of people. It involves phishing by voice or SMS.

The message content in spear-phishing emails is typically tied to a time-sensitive event, such as a natural disaster. This instills a sense of urgency in the victim, prompting them to act without hesitation.

Spear phishing

Spear phishing definition – when a cybercriminal impersonates a specific person or organization to dupe the victim into giving sensitive information. The attacker’s goal is to gain access to the victim’s confidential data, such as login credentials or financial information.

Spear phishing attacks are more sophisticated than regular phishing attacks and can be very difficult to spot.

Whaling attacks

The term “whale” is used to describe high-profile individuals, such as corporate executives or celebrities. Whaling attacks are spear-phishing assaults that target high-ranking executives such as CEOs, CFOs, and other executives.

Phishing emails are commonly used in these attacks, with the attacker impersonating an executive and requesting confidential information or cash.

How to prevent a Spear Phishing Attack?

Cyberphasing-1
Cyberphasing-1
  • Authentication using two factors: Two-factor authentication can also help keep your account safe from hackers. Requiring a second form of authentication, such as a code texted to your cell phone, adds an extra degree of protection.
  • Use antivirus software: To avoid phishing attacks, you must have a strong spear phishing defense in place. Anti-spam and anti-virus protection should be included.
  • Employee education: Ensure that your personnel is well-versed in how to spot phishing emails. This can aid in the prevention of successful attacks.
  • Phone calls: Unsolicited phone calls from someone purporting to be from your bank or another business should be avoided. Never give out personal information over the phone, and immediately report any unusual calls to your security personnel.
  • Hire a Security Consulting team: Security consulting services like ZZ computer services can help you recognize and prevent spear-phishing attacks. Our team of experts will work with you to create a comprehensive security plan that includes employee education, email filtering, and two-factor authentication. Contact us today to learn more about our services!

Conclusion

Cyberphasing-2
Cyberphasing-2

As we can see, spear phishers are a serious threat to businesses and individuals alike. By taking the proper precautions, you can help protect yourself and your organization from these malicious attacks.

If you think you may be the target of a spear-phishing attack, or if you have any concerns about the security of your data, contact ZZ computer services immediately. Our team of security experts can help you assess your risks and take the necessary steps to protect your data.

We hope you found this article helpful. Stay tuned for more blog posts on cybersecurity threats and how to defend against them.