Six Common Types of Phishing Attacks and How to Avoid Them

Phishing attacks are still one of the most common types of cyber-attacks today.

Phishing attacks are among the most common and damaging cyber-attacks that businesses and individuals face today. Phishing is a type of social engineering attack in which a criminal attempts to trick unsuspecting users into disclosing sensitive information (such as banking details or a password) or acting in an unintended manner (such as downloading a malicious file or making a fraudulent payment).

In order to avoid being hailed, we will discuss and assist you in recognizing six of the most common types of phishing attacks.

In addition to carefully reviewing your e-mails to ensure they are legitimate, it is beneficial to be aware of some specific types of Phishing attacks so you can recognize other tell-tale signs that something “phishy” is going on.

Typical Phishing Attack Types

1) Deceptive Phishing

This kind of phishing attack is the most frequent occurrence. You get an email that seems to come from a reputable source or someone you know. By tricking you into clicking a link in the email body and/or downloading a malicious file to your computer and network, the email aims to get you to share private information.

  • Instead of including your name, use a generic greeting or salutation.
  • Grammatical errors in the e-mail body or the e-mail address and sender’s alias.
  • Spelling Errors or Misspellings can be easily found in the email body.

2) Spear Phishing

This type of phishing attack, while more sophisticated than deceptive phishing, has the same goal. In order to target a specific individual, the scammer spends extra money on spear phishing emails.

The scammer gets to know everything he or she can about you-first and last names, where you work and live, and other personal information about you from social media posts-in order to tailor an e-mail to you specifically. The scammer hopes you will respond to the e-mail request because you may believe the sender is someone you know or are otherwise connected to in some way.

To protect yourself from this type of phishing,

  • Use social medical accounts with caution and be cautious with the information you make public, including comments you make on other people’s posts.
  • Avoid making public postings about your company, your position, or any other information that can assist a scammer in impersonating you personally in order to trick you into giving them access to confidential information.

3) CEO Fraud

This form of fraud, also known as “whaling,” preys on company executives. Scammers, who view this as a chance to catch the big fish rather than just a “regular fish,” try to persuade executives to divulge login credentials or other private company information.

Scammers can use the stolen data to make money by selling wine or using other methods. Another type of CEO fraud is “W-2 phishing,” which is the term used in the US to describe when a con artist attempts to obtain employee income tax information by using the same email address as a corporate executive. The hacker can use this information for a variety of harmful activities, such as tiling base tax returns for the company’s employees and selling the information on the dark web, where it can be used for a variety of future phishing scams and worse.

4) Vishing

In a vishing attack, the scammer contacts you over the phone in an effort to obtain your information rather than via email.

There are a variety of techniques the hackers can employ to make the phone call appear to be coming from someone you know, to have the number appear to be in a neighborhood where you live or work, to be very close to an important number, such as your bank or another company you are known to do business with, or to look like it is coming from someone else entirely.

To protect yourself from this type of phishing,

  • Never give out personal information on an inbound (caller to you) call and never pick up the phone if the caller ID doesn’t show a valid name?
  • If you pick up the phone to answer the call, just say that you’ll call them back at a number you already have for the organization. Get off the call as soon as you can because the caller will be persistent in trying to keep you on the line and pressuring you to divulge the information they need.
  • Block the number, if you can, to stop them from calling. But be aware that these callers will use a variety of phone numbers.

5) Smishing

Smishing attacks, which take the form of misleading text messages, are very similar to phishing emails. In the hopes that one person will respond, a message with a general greeting that could be intended for anyone—not just you—is sent out to a large number of recipients. In a manner similar to wishing, wishing scammers pretend to be a person, business, or other entity you might conduct business with over the phone in an effort to persuade you to act upon the most important message, such as clicking a link or giving information that can be stolen or used to hack your device.

Protect yourself from Smishing assaults by

  • Ignoring and deleting texts that seems to be spam or other unwanted messages. Don’t, for instance, respond to messages about lost money that has been discovered in your name.
  • Looking up the phone number in question if you’re unsure of a message. Don’t allow the person or business to discuss the matter over the phone, even if the call seems legitimate.

6) Pharming

This particular form of phishing alters the IP address of a reliable and secure website using “cache poisoning” against the domain name system (DNS), causing visitors who attempt to access it to be automatically redirected to a malicious website that the hacker has set up.

Your company undoubtedly keeps network and connected device protection and upgrades up to date, but you must also do your part. When browsing the web, only enter login credentials at websites if you see the HTTPS-protected site acronym (https://) or the lock symbol in your browser’s address bar.

While this tutorial serves as an introduction to the Common Types of Phishing Attacks, it is far from thorough. Phishing and the cybersecurity industry are always evolving, and attacks are becoming more sophisticated. Staying up to date on the latest cyberattacks is the most effective approach to combat them.

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  1. September 9, 2022

    […] Six Common Types of Phishing Attacks and How to Avoid Them […]

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