7 Types of Phishing Attacks and How to Protect against Them

Just like ransomware attacks, phishing attacks have also become a common occurrence in today’s digitized business environment. As per a 2019 report on phishing trends, phishing attacks have seen a surge of 40% in 2019, which may rise in 2020. Read on 7 Types of Phishing Attacks that you shouldn’t underestimate.

A large number of organizations, especially financial institutions and internet companies, have been a target of these malicious attacks. No wonder, then, organizations all over the world are gearing themselves up to find ways to counter the menace of phishing attacks.

7 Types of Phishing Attacks

Types of Phishing Attacks

Since phishing attacks represent a grave threat to all types of organizations, the latter must be able to detect some of the most common phishing scams if they are to survive and thrive in today’s competitive business environment.

Here are the 7 major phishing attacks and the ways to protect against them.

1. Deceptive Phishing

It is thus far the most common type of phishing scam. In this type of ruse, impostors mimic a genuine company in a bid to steal people’s personal data or login details. Those emails often use threats and a sense of urgency to alarm users into doing what the hackers want.

As an example, fraudsters could send out an attack email that tells recipients to click on a link in order to correct an inconsistency with their account. In fact, the link redirects to a fake login page that gathers a victim’s login credentials and sends them to the hackers.

To protect against this attack, users should inspect all URLs prudently to see if they redirect to an unfamiliar and/or suspicious website. They should also look out for generic greetings, grammar and spelling mistakes strewn throughout the email.

2. Spear Phishing

In spear phishing attacks, hoaxers modify their attack emails with the target’s name, position, business, work phone number and other data. The object is similar to deceptive phishing: deceive the victim into clicking on a malevolent URL or email attachment.

Considering the volume of information required to create a convincing attack effort, it’s no wonder that spear phishing is a common phenomenon on social media platforms where hackers can use several data sources to craft a targeted attack email.

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To protect against this scam, companies should organize employee security awareness programs that deter users from publishing key personal or corporate information on social media.

3. CEO Fraud

This type of phishing attack occurs when cybercriminals misuse the compromised email account of a chief executive officer or other important executive to approve fake wire transfers to a financial institution of their choice. These attacks work because managers often don’t attend security awareness training with their employees.

To protect against the threats of CEO fraud, companies should make sure all company employees—including top-ranking officials—take part in security awareness training programs.

Organizations should also think about incorporating multi-factor authentication (MFA) channels into their financial sanction procedures so that nobody can authorize payments via email alone.

 4. Vishing

Email is certainly a popular tool among phishers, but they do occasionally turn to other media to commit their attacks. Vishing is an example.

Unlike other types of attacks, in vishing an email is not sent out; a phone call is placed instead to conduct this attack. A cybercriminal can execute this attack by setting up a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) server to impersonate several entities in order to pilfer sensitive data and money.

To shun these attacks, you should never reply calls from unidentified phone numbers, nor should you give out personal information over the phone and use a caller ID app.

5. Smishing

Digital fraudsters resort to several novel methods to perpetrate their malicious attacks—including smishing. This method influences malicious text messages to dupe users into clicking on a malicious link or giving out personal information.

To protect against this smishing, avoid clicking a reply link or phone number in a message you’re not sure about. Also, never store your credit card or banking information on your smartphone. If the information is not there, cybercriminals can’t steal it even if they do inject malware onto your phone.

6. Pharming

This technique of phishing influences cache harming against the domain name system (DNS), a naming system that the Internet uses to translate alphabetical website names, such as “www.amazon.com,” to numerical IP addresses so that it can find and thus direct users to computer services and devices.

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To avoid these attacks, companies should encourage employees to enter login details only on HTTPS-protected websites, while enforcing anti-virus software on all official systems on an ongoing basis. Lastly, they should ensure to stay on top of security upgrades issued by a reliable Internet Service Provider (ISP).

7. Clone phishing

In this type of attack, attackers take advantage of genuine messages that the victim may have already received and produce a malicious version of it. The attack produces a simulated imitation of a legitimate message and sends the message from an email address that looks authentic.

The attacker often uses the pretext that they’re re-sending the original message due to an issue with the previous email’s link or attachment to bait end-users into clicking on them.

To protect against clone phishing, educate your employees and conduct training sessions with fake phishing situations. Also, make sure to deploy a web filter to block harmful websites, and encode all important company information.

Types of Phishing Attacks : Conclusion:

That’s all with the list of 7 Types of Phishing Attacks you should know about and must be alert to minimize the damage done. If you think that the list is missing a few other notorious phishing attacks, do tell us in comment box. Thank you for stopping by.

Team BR

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