(Spear) Phishing4:08 with Greg Stromire
You may already be familiar with this kind of attack; it’s certainly one of the most well-known. But it’s also one of the most effective. Learn to identify the common signs of a Phishing attack and it’s targeted relative, Spear Phishing.
- Phishing -- An message attempting to trick a person into revealing sensitive information.
- Spear Phishing -- A targeted phishing attack intended for a specific person.
- Domain -- The main, or root, portion of the URL. It’s the “google.com” part of the
- Sub-domain -- One or more prefixes before the domain. It’s the “drive” part of the
“https://drive.google.com/”URL. Phishing emails may disguise the trusting part here, e.g.
http://gmail.secure.comis not related to Gmail in any way.
- Credentials -- Typically a username and password, your credentials are whatever information you use to login to a site or service.
Now we'll start talking more specifically about some common attacks. 0:00 And we'll begin with perhaps one of the most well known, phishing. 0:04 The word comes from the term phreaking, 0:08 a form of hacking that attacks cell phone communications, 0:10 combined with the word fishing, since it involves baiting the target. 0:13 Phishing attacks are often email messages, 0:17 instructing you to confirm your user name and password on an external site. 0:20 But phishing really could be any attempt to trick you into providing sensitive 0:25 information to an unauthorized party, including phone calls, 0:29 text messages, or even in person requests. 0:34 I'll point out some red flags or hints that should raise some suspicion for 0:36 when you're reading messages like this. 0:40 Then you'll be able to better identify phishing attacks and prevent falling for 0:43 them yourself. 0:47 Here is an example of a phishing email. 0:48 This may look innocent enough and 0:51 many people have fallen victim to attempts much like this one. 0:52 Let's take a closer look at some of the warning signs. 0:56 The first thing to notice is that the sender email address is suspicious. 0:58 This looks like it's meant for the lehigh.edu students, 1:04 but the sender has an @udd.cl account. 1:09 Another suspect part is that it's addressed rather generically, 1:12 dear account user. 1:17 Usually, important emails include valid personal information. 1:18 There's an urgency to the email, and 1:22 a risk of losing access if you don't follow the instructions. 1:25 That should sound some alarms for you as well. 1:28 There's a grammatical error here, it may seem minor but 1:31 genuine emails are typically much more professional. 1:34 There's a misleading link to click on. 1:37 A valid link should come from a trusted domain, 1:40 which is the main part of the URL just before the .com. 1:43 The subdomain, or the prefix here before the domain looks like it is associated 1:46 with the institution. 1:51 But in fact, 1:53 whoever owns the jimdo.com website can add anything they want as a subdomain. 1:54 The email is asking for your credentials at all. 1:59 You should almost never be instructed to enter your login 2:02 information from an email. 2:05 I would even advise calling the institution directly 2:07 to verify if you think the message still may be legitimate. 2:10 Now, you may have recognized many of these red flags right away. 2:14 If so, that’s great, the better everyone is at identifying phishing 2:17 attacks the less likely they will occur. 2:21 Of course, not all of them have this many red flags. 2:24 The reality of phishing attacks is that they require almost zero effort 2:27 to create and send out to targets. 2:31 And all it takes is one or two people, 2:32 often out of the thousands who receive the message to fall for it. 2:34 Because the effort to reward ratio so heavily favors attackers, 2:39 many experts don't expect phishing scams to go away any time soon. 2:43 Spear phishing is a variation of phishing but quite a bit more insidious. 2:48 It gets its name from being pointed at someone specific. 2:52 So it's a message meant to trick you into providing sensitive info, but 2:56 there is a deceitful familiarity to it. 3:00 It may look like it's from a friend or 3:03 someone that knows details about your personal life. 3:05 Here's an example, and we'll go over the suspicious aspects. 3:08 Note the sender email again. 3:11 More grammar mistakes. 3:14 Of course, authentic messages contains mistakes too. 3:15 Refer to the attached document. 3:19 Attachments could potentially contain viruses, or 3:21 otherwise infect your computer. 3:23 Do not open, unless you know and trust the sender. 3:25 To recap, here are some common red flags for a phishing attack. 3:29 Email or domain doesn't match. 3:33 Careful of subdomains. 3:36 Spelling or grammar mistakes. 3:38 Incredible offers or rewards. 3:40 Inconsistent context. 3:43 Requests for money. 3:45 Urgency, threats or unrealistic risks. 3:48 Government agencies. 3:51 Includes suspicious attachments, asks for your credentials. 3:53 Now that you've seen some examples of phishing and its targeted variation, 3:58 spear phshing, you'll be better able to identify these types of attacks and 4:02 prevent falling for them yourself. 4:06
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