Understand How Phishing Attacks Are Carried Out
At work, an account tells you to click a link to business pitches, but it seems fishy. Perhaps you’ve been targeted with a phishing attack and not identifying it will cause a bad situation.
A phishing attack is when someone contacts you with acting and email altering to mimic a desired contact to have you do actions allowing them to get access to your financial information.
Unawareness of email phishing causes you to trust every email, so to decrease your gullibility and save your business, it is critical that you understand the anatomy of a phishing attack.
Watch: Anatomy of a Phishing Attack
Anatomy of a Phishing Attack
Phase 1: Target
Most phishing attacks begin by acquiring a list of every person the cybercriminals desire to target to have a better chance of deceiving individuals as they learn more about them.
Cybercriminals have methods of finding email addresses for their lists as they use data breaches or the dark web used for illegal activity, like selling people’s personal information.
Attackers identify people their targets regularly contact to have the best chance of tricking them by accessing consumer databases containing the email addresses of everyone a company serves.
Phase 2: Deliver
It's now time to launch the attack, which is done with acting and domain changing.
Attackers have target lists and before contacting, they will do domain spoofing to change their sender address making it look like it came from an email in the company’s consumer database.
Phase 3: Deceive
Finally, cybercriminals use a technique called social engineering to communicate as consumers would, which is why these cybercriminals are also known as threat actors.
Not only are trusted senders impersonated, but they also create urgency by making the email seem like it must be responded to immediately to give victims little chance to review it.
Examples include a business proposal a worker expected for a while or even a bank alerting you of an unauthorized transaction on your account and to click a fake link to confirm identity.
Phase 4: Click
A common method proceeding a clicked link is presenting a victim with a login screen looking identical to the login screen of the website they are impersonating to elicit a response.
In the bank example, you click a link after attackers pretend to be with the bank and the login screen appears, so you log in, but you instead give your login credentials to the attacker.
Phase 5: Exploit
After the victim believes they signed into their bank account, they really gave threat actors the ability to log into the victim’s bank account, so threat actors could reap rewards they desired.
Since threat actors have access to your bank account, they could make transfers to their own account, buy whatever they want, or sell your account information on the dark web.
To make matters worse, it takes an average of an entire day to recover from the attack, which causes loss in productivity.
How Can I Secure Business Email Against Phishing Attacks?
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Phishing Is Evolving
Are Your Current Email Defenses Falling Behind?
- Avoid Phishing Emails
- Be Cautious of Spam Email
- Be Wary of Malicious URLs
- Protect Against Spoofing & Sender Fraud
- Protect the Privacy of Your Email with TLS
- Don’t Rely on Native Microsoft 365 Email Protection Alone
- Implement TLS to Keep Your Email Secure
- Endpoint Security Is Not Enough
- Conduct Regular Email Security Audits
- Configure Email Account Settings with Security in Mind
- Learn How To Spot Threats to Business Email
- Backup Your Data and Isolate Your Backups Offline
- Protect Business Email from Phishing Attacks
- Avoid Sending Sensitive Information Over Email
- Learn About Malicious Links
- Prevent Zero-Day Attacks
- Business Email Is for Business Only
- Learn How To Identify Social Engineering Attacks
- Know Your Email Risk
- Safeguard Your Inbox from Malicious Mail
- Understand How Phishing Attacks Are Carried Out
- Know the Steps in a Spear Phishing Attack
- Familiarize Yourself with the Anatomy of a Whaling Attack
- Understand How Malware Attacks Work
- Learn the Steps in a Ransomware Attack
- Understand the Phases of a Business Email Compromise (BEC) Attack
- Know What Zero-Day Attack Is & How It Works
- Familiarize Yourself with the Phases of an Account Takeover (ATO) & Lateral Phishing Attack
- Learn the Steps in a Social Engineering Attack
- Understand the Types of Email Viruses to Be on the Lookout For