Phishing has become a very lucrative business, and scammers can get very creative with the phishing tricks that they use.
This article will walk you through the five most common tactics cybercrooks use to convince you to hand over your precious sensitive data.
Phishing Opens The Door For Ransomware Attacks
Picture this: it’s a crazy busy workday at the office, you’re scanning through your already overflooded inbox, and one email catches your eye: HR is warning of substantial changes to its work-from-home policy. Curious and worried about how this might affect you, you quickly open the attached file to find out more.
Little did you know that the file was actually ransomware, and now you’ve compromised your entire company.
Scenarios like these aren’t far-fetched at all. In fact, ransomware attacks happen precisely this way most of the time. However, the days of the error-filled emails from a ‘Nigerian Prince’ are long gone, as scammers now use much more sophisticated and compelling strategies to get their way.
The Top 5 Fundamental Phishing Tricks
While phishing scams keep evolving, their nature stays the same, and so do the top five strategies used by the bad guys. So here’s what you have to look for to know whether you’re being phished:
- A sensational clickbait – Just like in the scenario pictured above, phishers will often make their fraudulent emails pop with eye-catching subjects created to evoke an immediate response and make the recipient miss sketchy details. For instance, scammers will sometimes send out customized emails with breaking news topics.
- Urgent requests from superiors – Cybercriminals will pose as executives in what is called CEO fraud and BEC attacks. These take advantage of an influential position in your company to lend a sense of false urgency to trick you into taking action to click on a malicious attachment or URL or authorize wire transfers to a fraudulent account. Scammers will also use phishing tricks such as claiming that the sender is out of office, thus they are unable to do the task themselves, or that you’ll face a negative consequence if you fail to comply with the request.
- Tailored emails – While many phishing campaigns are mass-focused, some cybercriminal groups will thoroughly do their homework on a specific target before throwing the bait. A glance on Facebook, one on LinkedIn, and the scammer already knows where, how, and when to attack based on the ridiculous amount of information most of us share on social media.
- Blending in with the routine – Unlike urgency-lending phishing emails, there’s the opposite approach of mundane messages, such as HR informing you about a contract update, approving an expense, IT confirming log-in details. Employees tend to treat these emails lightly, wich makes them even more dangerous than urgent ones.
- Leveraging the system – More than just impersonating coworkers, suppliers, executives, and other contacts, scammers have learned the ropes of the digital workplace and adapted their strategies. Thus, don’t be surprised if bad guys take the guise of automated emails from various services, such as Google Drive or SharePoint. This has become a rather popular phishing method for delivering malware-infested files with an ‘enable macros’ button that unleashes chaos if clicked.
Prevent Phishing Attacks With ATTACK Simulator’s Security Awareness Training Program
When your employees are equipped with the proper knowledge to read the red flags of a fraudulent attempt, they can take their time to calmly evaluate the situation and examine all the details the devil may be hiding in, which otherwise would go unnoticed. You can use our free security awareness training trial to objectively assess your company’s exposure and vulnerability to phishing attacks.
Our life-like phishing simulations will expose your employees to realistic hands-on fake phishing attempts.
ATTACK Simulator’s Security Awareness Training program will help you enrich your employees’ cybersecurity knowledge with up-to-date security best practices to keep your company safe from scammers and avoid potentially irreparable damage.