It might come out as a surprise to you that the attack vector has been on the contraction for the last three years. In the 2020 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, threat researchers of SonicWall hinted that 2019 had witnessed a 42% reduction in overall phishing. They have indicated that cyber threat actors are now preferring quality over quantity. Yet, 22% of all data breaches involved phishing in one way or another, according to the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. Let’s now talk about recent phishing tactics used by cybercriminals in their efforts to steal information.
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Use of Social Media
Traditionally, cyber threat actors leverage webmail to attempt phishing using a malicious link sent to a user via email. A cybercriminal disguised himself as a trusted authority tries to lure his victim into clicking a link to install malware or obtain information.
Nowadays, they have turned their eyes to messaging services commonly used by businesses such as Facebook Messenger, Slack, and Skype. When they sense a possibility of stealing user login credentials, they send malicious links to unsuspecting colleagues, disguising themselves as trusted team members. The accurate scale of such a scam tactic is not available.
However, it is reasonable to assume that its strike rate is higher than the simple email scam, specifically when employed with other collaboration tools.
The Facebook messenger virus is a devious tactic employed by cybercriminals to spread cyber infections. The infected message sends a compressed link, like video_12345.bz or video.bz, and an exciting phrase incorporating the recipient’s name and a few emojis. The embedded link takes one to a phishing site, though it seems as taking to YouTube.
Use of SMS (Smishing)
SMS, short for Short Message Service, is an underlying foundation for cellular phone texting. Now, these cellular phones are web-enabled. Disappointingly, cybercriminals are now targeting them for an attack called Smishing.
One can say it the migration of attack vectors existing in email messages to text messages. Essentially, threat actors send out a mass message that leads the recipient to a malicious site.
Direct Interaction Phishing
Of course, the way to conduct phishing is through finding the vulnerable point of a network security setup. Understandably, it is the end-user. It is the naivety of an end-user that makes phishing possible.
Hence, direct interaction phishing happens by creating personalized and persuasive messages to target marks. It is a set of techniques employed to convince end-users to hand over valuable information, such as financial information.
Usually, cybercriminals clone the website of a trusted institution. Later on, they get unsuspecting end-users through a live chat feature to visit this site. Subsequently, they make users submit financial details, such as credit card number, national insurance number, biodata, etc. The same scam works through telephone as well when a cybercriminal acts as a colleague or boss.
This phishing scam is increasingly popular nowadays. A cybercriminal strives to grab login credentials for software as a service (SaaS) packages, such as Slack, AWS, Google G-Suite, etc.
Having access to SaaS packages is comparatively more devastating. It is because cybercriminals get access to the whole data bank of business or an entire record of emails.
One of the most straightforward techniques to carry out phishing scams is pop-up messages.
By sending end-users pop-up messages, cybercriminals aim to steal login details. Subsequently, it leads the users to forged websites.
In this post, we have discussed recent phishing tactics employed by cybercriminals nowadays. Through these tactics, threat actors steal information that can get used against end-users. As soon as you realize concerning the stolen data, you have to put a data breach response in place immediately.
2020 Verizon data breach investigation report