Common Types of Phishing Attacks

online security

IT Support & SecurityWritten By: Suman Kumar Paul

Phishing attacks continue to be a significant risk in the cyber security environment. Phishing scams are on the rise, posing a gigantic risk to businesses globally. If businesses ought to secure their corporate data, they must be aware of some of the most common phishing attacks and the techniques that malicious scammers execute.

Our goal is to check out 5 of the most common type of phishing threats and outline some countermeasures that businesses should employ.

1.    Whaling

Whaling can attack everyone in a company, even managers. This is the logic behind a "whaling" strike. In these attacks, scammers attempt to capture an executive and grab their login credentials.

If the assault gets successful, attackers can opt to execute CEO fraud. CEO scam occurs as the second stage of a business email compromise (BEC) scam, where fraudsters utilize a hacked email account of a CEO or even other top executives to approve illegal money transfers to a banking institution of their choice.

Some Whaling Techniques
•    Infiltrate the network
•    Go after the supply chain
•    Follow up with a phone call

How to defend against Whaling?

Whaling attacks are effective as Company owners usually fail to participate in security awareness training with their workforce. To mitigate the possibility of CEO fraud, firms should require that all corporate staff, especially leaders, attend regular cybersecurity awareness training.

2.    Deceptive Phishing

One of the most popular forms of phishing fraud is deceptive phishing. In this technique, cybercriminals impersonate a reputable firm to obtain users' data or login details. Threats and a sense of urgency are used in these emails to terrify recipients into performing whatever the intruders want.

Some Deceptive Phishing Techniques
•    Legitimate Links
•    Redirects and Shortened Links
•    Modify Brand Logos
•    Blend Malicious and Benign Code
•    Minimal Email Content

How to defend against Deceptive Phishing?

The success of deceptive phishing is determined by how strongly a malicious email mimics legitimate communication from a fraudulent firm. Recognizing this fact, users should thoroughly examine all URLs to see whether they redirect to an unfamiliar and/or questionable website. Users should also look out for generic salutations, grammatical inaccuracies, and spelling errors.

3.    Vishing

As we know most phishing attacks rely on emails however Vishing involves a phone call to trap victims. Technically, a vishing attack can be carried out by establishing a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) server to impersonate various entities to collect confidential information and/or cash. In 2020, malicious attackers will employ these approaches to increase their vishing operations and exploit remote professionals.

Some Vishing Techniques
•    ID Spoofing
•    Technical Jargon
•    The Mumble Technique

How to defend against Vishing?

To avoid vishing attacks, consumers should avoid taking calls from unfamiliar phone numbers, never disclose any confidential details over the phone, and install a caller ID application.

4.    Pharming

This phishing technique employs cache poisoning against the domain name system (DNS), an addressing system used by the Internet to translate alphabetical website names, like "," to numerical IP addresses, allowing it to discover and direct users to computing services and devices.

A pharmer attacks a DNS server and alters the IP address linked with an alphabetical website name in a DNS cache poisoning hack. This implies that an attacker can route visitors to a fake site of their choice even if the victim enters the correct web address.

Some Pharming Techniques
•    Malicious Email Code
•    Targeting the DNS Server

How to defend against Pharming?

Businesses should educate employees to disclose login credentials exclusively on HTTPS-protected websites to avoid pharming threats. Anti-virus software must be installed on all work computers, and virus database updates should be performed continuously. Furthermore, they should keep up with technological updates given by a reputable Internet Service Provider (ISP).

5.    Smishing

Vishing is not the unique method of phishing that cybercriminals use their phones for. They can also perform Smishing attacks to employ harmful text messages to mislead users into clicking on a malicious link or disclosing confidential data.

Some Smishing Techniques
•    Trigger the download of a malicious app
•    Instruct the user to contact tech support
•    Link to data-stealing forms

How to defend against Smishing?

Users may actively resist Smishing scams by investigating unknown phone numbers and contacting the service outlined in suspicious Text messages if they find it questionable.

The Final Defence

Businesses can detect common types of phishing attempts by implementing the guidelines outlined above. However, this does not guarantee that they will be able to detect every phish. Phishing is continually adopting innovative approaches and strategies. With this in consideration, organizations must provide continual security awareness training to their employees and leaders so that they can keep on top of phishing's advancement.

If you are interested to secure your business from phishing attacks join hands with us for next-gen IT security solutions. We offer advanced Web Security solutions and technologies for a safe and reliable digital influence.

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See Also - 10 Cyber Security Awareness Tips