What is a Spear Phishing Attack?
Spear phishing is an email-spoofing attack that targets a specific organization or individual, seeking unauthorized access to sensitive information. This is typically an e-mail-borne phishing attack that has been customized with your information, so that it appears legitimate.
This type of targeted, specific scam the sender e-mail address is also impersonated, the e-mail content can become even more compelling to the recipient who knows the purported sender. An email arrives, apparently from a trustworthy source, but instead it leads the unknowing recipient to a bogus website full of malware. Phishing messages usually appear to come from a large and well-known company or website with a broad membership base, such as Google or PayPal.
While phishing tactics may rely on shotgun methods that deliver mass emails to random individuals, spear phishing focuses on specific targets and involve prior research.
Falling for a spear phishing attack can give a hacker access to personal and financial information across an entire network. And, successful spear phishing attacks oftentimes go unnoticed, which increases the risk of large and continued losses.
How to Defend Against Spear Phishing Attacks
- Here are some best practices to defend against spear phishing attacks:
- Be wary of unsolicited mail and unexpected emails, especially those that call for urgency.
- Educate your employees and regularly test their knowledge.
- Keep your systems up-to-date with the latest security patches.
- Refrain from clicking on links or downloading attachments in emails, especially from unknown sources.
- Block threats that arrive via email using hosted email security and antispam protection.
How to Avoid Phishing Attacks
How to Perform Anti-Phishing Checks
Phishing Against Mobile Devices
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