What is spear phishing:

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Spear phishing is an e-communications scam which is designed towards a specific set of individuals, businesses or organizations. Although the target in most cases is to steal data for malicious reasons, cybercriminals may also intend to install or configure malware or trojans on a targeted user’s device.

Most of the time, government-sponsored hackers plan these attacks. Cybercriminals do the exact same thing with an intention to reuse confidential information to the intended parties. Such criminals use different types of approaches and techniques in order to customize messages and websites. As an outcome, even high-profile targets within organizations, end up opening emails they thought were safe and legitimate. This enables cybercriminals to steal and use the information they require to attack and harm their networks.

How to Protect Yourself

Conventional security generally does not prevent these attacks as they are so cleverly planned and executed. As a result, they are becoming more difficult to get caught. Mistakes of a single employee can have serious consequences for the businesses, governments and any organization. With the gathered data, the attackers can reuse, resell or disclose commercially sensitive and confidential data, and commit various acts of frauds. In addition, spear phishing attacks can lead malware to hijack devices.

Spear Phishing and Targeted Attacks

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Spear phishing is mainly used in campaigns to get access to a particular individual’s details such as a high- profile official or those people who are involved in sensitive transactions in the company. 90 percent or more of the attacks in 2012 happened from spear phishing emails, as per a latest survey.

How to Defend Against Spear Phishing Attacks

In order to defend against spear phishing attacks you can follow below mentioned techniques:

  • Beware of unknown emails, especially those that call for emergency. Before you open the email, always make sure to verify the person through a different mode of communication which may be phone call or face-to-face conversation.
  • It is important to learn the basic tactics used in spear phishing emails, like tax-fraud, business scams, and other social engineering attacks.
  • Stop from accessing, opening or clicking on links or downloading attachments in emails that come from unknown people.
  • You can have anti spam safeguard or block the emails or threats which come via email using hosted email security.

Spear Phishing :

Spear Phishing is an email attack where a specific individual or organization or business is set as a target. In spear phishing, the potential attacker communicates in a manner that tricks the potential target to click on the malicious links or open a particular email which in turn lets the attacker download or access the confidential data from the targeted device. 

Examples –

  • Stealing stacks details from an organization
  • Stealing product designing procedure from a company

What is the difference between a Phishing attack and Spear Phishing

There are many types of Email attacks that are used by attackers to steal confidential data from devices or networks. The sensitive data includes bank details, ATM PIN, Credit card details, Company information which is not available to the public. Phishing and Spear Phishing are also such kinds of attacks.

Difference between Phishing and Spear Phishing :

PHISHINGSPEAR PHISHING
Phishing attacks are done for a wide group of people.Spear phishing is done for a particular individual or business.
The motive is to steal confidential information like bank details, PIN from a range of people.The motive is to steal confidential information from a particular person or a big company..
This is an automated attack.This is a manual attack.

 

Spear phishing attack

In spear phishing, the goal is not to get personal data to access social media, auction, or bank details, here the attempt is to gather individual data used within the victim’s company. Hee the attackers are after company data and anything else that will permit them to infiltrate the company untouched. It can be done by attaching a link in the email that downloads the malicious software onto the potential target’s device. If it’s decided to use malware, we need not worry about the area or domain of the server as the software is attached to the target’s device and the target need not visit the server. 

Spear Phishing vs. Phishing: 

Spear phishing happens when cyber criminals set out to deploy attacks against specific sets of individuals, businesses through email. By using such techniques, hackers gather confidential information about specific parties to convey sms that sound trustworthy and from a reliable source.

As the name suggests, spear phishing comes under the category of phishing attacks that attacks users and organizations on a daily basis. 

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