What Is Phishing and Ways to Avoid It
Phishing attacks are often carried out by hackers to steal your account information and details about your bank account. It can be defined as a kind of social engineering attack. So, in this type of attack, the hacker deceives his victim by pretending to be a trusted company or person. Hackers reach their victims through an email, instant message, or text message in phishing attacks. If the victim clicks on the malicious link in this message, they fall into the hacker’s trap. The link can cause malware to be installed on your computer and, as a result, fall victim to a ransomware attack. Also, ransomware causes your systems to go down or your sensitive information to be stolen. In this article called ‘What Is Phishing and Ways to Avoid It’, we will give you information on this topic.
What Is Phishing and Ways to Avoid It
These types of social engineering attacks can have devastating consequences on victims. With the victim’s information, the hacker can buy unnecessary things, steal money, or commit identity theft.
Today, phishing attacks are frequently used as part of an advanced persistent threat, an APT. So these events are often just a small part of major attacks on corporate or government networks. In these massive attacks, hackers often take advantage of employees’ weak points. Besides serious financial losses, these events cause the company to lose its market share, damage its reputation and decrease consumer confidence. Most companies that have been victims of these attacks in recent years have not been able to overcome them easily.
What Is Phishing and Ways to Avoid It: Phishing Methods
- reach you via email, text, and phone with a fake identity in phishing attacks.
- redirect you to a fake site that looks like a real password reset page.
- ask you for both your new and existing passwords.
- hijack your existing password to infiltrate your systems.
- then redirect you to the real password recovery site.
- run a malicious script in the background to capture the cookies you use in the session.
- take over your systems to a great extent through the XSS attack.
In addition to common features such as the above, hackers use various methods in their attacks. Here are the phishing methods,
1. Phishing emails
One of the most used methods of email phishing. Hackers often send the same fake message to thousands of users, waiting for someone to be fooled by the email. Even if only a small percentage of users are trapped, this is enough for them. For this, they examine in detail the emails of the company or person they are imitating. They use the same type of statements, the same font, and expressions. They do not neglect to include the company’s logo and design in the phishing email. Also, they often use a sense of urgency in their email. As we mentioned above, they can request you to change your password immediately, using any data breach as an excuse. In such a situation, users will be less careful. Because they also try to make the links in their messages quite similar to real links. But by paying attention to spelling errors, you can understand that the link is fake.
2. Spear Phishing
In spear phishing, hackers work towards a single person rather than sending the same message to many people as in phishing emails. Pre-determining their goals, hackers collect all the details about this person and create a personal message.
In such spear-phishing attacks, hackers:
- first, learn the names of people working in important departments of the company and collect information about the latest projects.
- email their victims about their latest project by imitating a manager or a senior executive. can use the billing information, the latest developments in the project, or payment as an excuse when sending the e-mail.
- prepare the text of the e-mail in a way that looks exactly like the reality, even using the company logo.
- can use a link that directs you to a password-protected file containing a fake invoice.
- ask you to log in to view the document. This way, they steal account information and gain access to the corporate network.
The steps we described above are often used as the first step in advanced attacks like APT.
What Is Phishing and Ways to Avoid It: Anti-Phishing Methods
Both users and companies need to take steps to prevent phishing. It is essential to be constantly vigilant against attacks. If you are careful, you can spot fake messages by looking for spelling errors. Fake links also contain various typos or oddities in domain names.
Likewise, your employees should definitely use strong passwords in applications whose policies can be attacked. Also, we recommend that your employees refresh their passwords frequently and use a different password for each application.
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA):
The use of two-factor authentication is very critical in applications that are open to attacks. So, subjecting your employees to an extra layer of verification when logging in will definitely reduce the attacks. This way, you can prevent hackers from infiltrating your company network with only passwords and username information.
You can train your employees with cybersecurity awareness training to ensure permanent cybersecurity awareness. This type of training teaches your employees not to click on email links from strangers and helps them to establish this as a behavior. Also, if you are looking for an effective and safe training application, we recommend you take a look at our Cyber Security Awareness Trainer. With our trainer, we offer you security training and animations in many languages, as well as posters, screensavers, cybersecurity bulletins, Ninjio videos, gamified security awareness training. Use our security training and increase the cybersecurity awareness of your employees.