Here at 2-viruses.com we do everything we can to provide our visitors with the most important information about cyber security. Now is the time to talk about spear phishing – a phishing tactic used by cyber criminals to steal money or important information from users, that no one is save from.
This phishing tactic is really old and yet a lot of users keep falling for it. Spear phishing is similar to classical email phishing but is more personalised and thus more persuasive. With just a single click you can lose your personal data or install malicious application on your computer.
Spear phishing email falls into your inbox not by accident – it was targeted specially to you. Cyber criminals collect various information about you from your social media profiles or websites that you are registered in and they succeed to hack in. This way criminals can craft extremely personalised email that look legitimate and target specific persons.
Even though those emails look valid, you can find malware or attempts to rob you inside of them. It’s important to note that the ultimate goal of hackers is not you opening the letter, but opening the link that is inside of that letter. So as long as you don’t click on any of links hidden in the email, you are safe.
If it happens so that you do click on the link that is displayed in the letter, any malware can be installed on your system without even warning you about that. Once inside of the system, malware can collect your passwords, bank account details and other important information.
Another way cyber criminals use spear phishing – pretending to be someone you know and asking for some confidential information or even to lend some money. With some help of your social media profiles, spammers can find out your name, age, the city you live in, names of your friends, your hobbies and recent activities. That’s a lot of information – enough to craft excellent personalised email that would convince you it was sent by someone you know. Sometimes spear phishing letters look innocent – they don’t ask you to send money or click on some link. You can be asked to provide them with your phone number or other details that might look insignificant. This way cyber criminals collect even more info about the victim and prepare for the final attack.
Scammers also can pretend to be some online service provider or retailer and ask you to fill your bank account details or some password you use on other website.
How to Avoid Spear Phishing?
No one is protected from this type of emails. All emailing service providers have good filters for spam yet cyber criminals find a way how to avoid them. Nonetheless, even if you receive spear phishing email you can stay safe. Remember that no bank nor other official company would ever ask you to send your personal information via email because it is not the safest option to say the least. Avoid clicking on links you received in email. Check it twice. In case al of a sudden one of your friends or relatives reached out to you via email and asks you to lend money or provide some personal information, check their identity. You can do it by contacting that certain person in other way – make a phone call or just meet him/her, to make sure the mail was sent not by someone you don’t really know.