- Vanshika Gadekar
If it is too good to be true, it can be a face of a phishing attack.
The phishing attack is the epitome of the social engineering attack that is launched via emails. The essence of phishing attacks is the alluring headlines that put pressure on a user to open the attachment either by enticing them with attractive offers or by creating a sense of urgency. At the core, these attacks play with the psychology of the human mind to launch viruses into their system, steal or seize their data or gain access to sensitive information such as credit card details. A phishing attack is not limited to emails. There also exist phishing calls and phishing websites designed in such a way as to steal money or crucial data.
How to detect the phishing attack
The five fundamental points that help you identify the phishing email.
Domains serve as the proof of legitimacy:
The majority of the organizations have their domain. For instance, the emails from Google end with google.com. Similarly, the emails from any legit company always end with their domain. Even the Google will not mail you with a gamil.com domain; the emails from Google will read google.com.
This test of legitimacy might fail as many small organizations use the public domain. However, checking the domain of each email sender can help you protect you from attackers who claim to be esteemed organizations like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and more.
Read the headline of this article once more. Yes, if it is too good to be true, it is a phishing attack. Think about the emails you receive with unbelievable offers like “Buy now, pay never”. Common who on this earth would give you something without asking for a price. Don’t fall for such traps.
However, there is one more type of headline that is frequently used by phishing attackers, that is “Hurry up”. These are the headlines that create a sense of urgency in your mind. Such as, “take action within 10 minutes, or your credit card will be blocked.” It is just an example to present to you the bigger picture. Emails with headlines that are directed toward creating an atmosphere of urgency in your mind are definitely phishing attacks.
Always keep in mind that a legit source will provide you with sufficient time to make an informed decision. And it will never try to attract your attention with fraud-looking offers. In case of doubts regarding the offers and rewards, look for them on the official website of that company.
Grammar in the body of the email:
Well, it is worth noting that these attackers don’t have expertise in writing. We cannot even blame them, as writing is not everyone’s cup of tea. But reading is, right? Here’s the idea, read every word of the emails you receive and check if you feel the mail has been sent to you by some legit organization or by some random dude trying to steal your data. The logic behind it is simple, every organization invests dollars in hiring good content and copywriters to write attractive and catchy email copies. Why would a legit organization, having invested their money and efforts into getting perfectly written email content will send you an email with grammatical mistakes? It is what we call thinking straightly and deciding correctly.
Misspelled email domain:
Want to know if someone is lying, look for something they might be lying about. The email domain, as we said earlier, serves as proof of legitimacy. Nevertheless, attackers can play with this smartly and pull the game back to their side by just jumbling a few words. Think about it, would you notice if amazon.com is written amazan.com? You might have noticed now, but think about the same mistake in the from section of the email you receive. The chances of a human noticing these spelling changes are as low as a horse's hoof.
As the older people said, to stay safe, you must stay awake. Try to pay extra attention to the sender of the emails in your inbox before clicking on any random link or downloading attachments attached to such emails.
Link with the remote address:
A link that claims to be from XYZ company will lead to only its website. If the destination email address does not match the context of the emails, stay away from it. Lamentably, in many scam emails and even in some legitimate emails the destination address of the link is hidden. Hidden in a way that is not immediately apparent to the viewer. However, just by hovering your mouse over the text overlapping the link, you can stay ahead of these scammers/attackers. For example: if the text says click here and contains a link, you might not immediately see the destination address, but when you hover your mouse to the click here text, you can see where this link is taking you. If you are using your phone, just hold on to the link and a pop-up will appear on your screen containing the link address in it.
The final words:
Phishing attacks on big companies can be innocent mistakes of the employees. Employees who believe the eye-candy emails are the most vulnerable side of the high-end security. However, we cannot directly blame the employees as the attackers have become more sophisticated to fool the traditional email defense. Let's ask for statistics to prove it. We can find a whopping 2 million malicious emails, formally known as Phishing attacks, which were sophisticated enough to bypass the signature-based traditional defense security solutions. You can teach the above-mentioned techniques to your team to defend yourself from such attacks. Also, for phishing emails that cannot be detected by these techniques, security solutions play an important role.
Defending your data with traditional security solutions is now more complex as the attackers are now using extremely advanced techniques to fool these solutions. To safeguard your data from these smart attackers, VIBS is here with one-in-a-million solutions. With our expert and tech-savvy team of engineers and alignment with the industry leaders in the field of cyber security, we help you stay ahead of these attackers and their smart tactics to steal your data.