Spear Phishing 101

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Editor’s Note: This article was published in 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness as of November 2020.

More than 90% of cyberattacks begin with a spear phishing email. Spear phishing emails aren’t just a generic piece of spam; they’re emails that appear to be from your boss with your company signature or from your credit card company warning you of some recent activity on your account. Hackers often use malicious links or attachments, coupled with an urgent request, to lure you into clicking the link or opening the attachment. Once you do, malware can access your information and use it to spread itself further. Once hackers have access, they often use your contacts to spread the email or access private information. Employees should develop regular processes around vetting and double-checking links that are sent to work emails to avoid phishing.

Spear phishing attacks are getting more sophisticated and are becoming harder and harder to detect. Hackers use tactics like copying official signatures and mimicking the formating of websites and services to trick victims. That’s why it’s more important than ever to arm your business against these threats. In this video, Chief Technology Officer Brandon Nohr takes a deep dive into spear phishing. He shows you how to identify a malicious email, and what to look out for. If you have any questions after watching the video about phishing or cybersecurity in general, contact SUCCESS Computer Consulting at 763-593-3000