Phishing and spear-phishing attacks

3. Phishing and spear-phishing attacks

A phishing attack is an act of sending messages that appear to be from trusted sources determined to acquire individual data or influencing users to do something. It combines social engineering and technical trickery.

It could include a connection to an email that heaps malware onto your PC. It could likewise be a connection to an ill-conceived site that can fool you into downloading malware or giving over your own data.

Spear phishing is an exceptionally designated sort of phishing action. Attackers set aside the effort to direct investigation into targets and create messages that are personal and relevant. Along these lines, spear phishing can be extremely difficult to recognize and surprisingly harder to shield against.

One of the least complex ways that a hacker can lead a spear-phishing attack is email spoofing, which is the point at which the data in the "From" segment of the email is distorted, causing it to show up as though it is coming from somebody you know, for example, your administration or your accomplice organization. Another method that tricksters use to add validity to their story is site cloning — they duplicate authentic sites to trick you into entering personally identifiable information (PII) or login credentials.

To reduce the risk of being phished, you can use these techniques:

Critical thinking — Do not accept that an email is a real deal just because you’re busy or stressed or you have 150 other unread messages in your inbox. Stop for a minute and analyze the email.

Hovering over the links — Move your mouse over the link, but do not click it! Just let your mouse cursor hover over the link and see where would actually take you. Apply critical thinking to decipher the URL.

Analyzing email headers — Email headers define how an email got to your address. The “Reply-to” and “Return-Path” parameters should lead to the same domain as is stated in the email.

Sandboxing — You can test email content in a sandbox environment, logging activity from opening the attachment or clicking the links inside the email.