Most Sophisticated Phishing Attacks

13.05.21 03:06 AM By Aishwarya

Email Phishing, Vishing & Other Types of Attacks

New Delhi, India 


Any time there is a large disturbance in our everyday life, cybercriminals jump to get the chance to engage in new forms of social engineering attacks. One of the most commonly found in phishing, an evil play on the word “fishing,” where attackers work to trick the victim into giving up their personal information from their personal computer or laptop, financial details or even credentials and passwords to be used in larger cyberattacks, to collect for the dark web or to perpetrate a form of fraud. 

While posing as a legitimate business, an official government agency, or even a colleague or non-profit they can steal your personal information from your website, email, or social media accounts, these attacks use a wide range of sophistication involved in them, skill and tenacity to trick their victims as per there wish.

Phishing is a kind of online scam where cybercriminals impersonating a legitimate organization via email, text message, advertisement, or other means to steal sensitive information which your CPU cannot catch. This is generally done by including a link that will appear to take you to the company’s website to fill in your information or just login into a page where you are lured to some exciting deal – but the website is a clever fake and the information you provide goes straight to the crooks behind the scam right by your hands by your window.

Fake virtual meetings

As remote work took off in early 2020 statistics says, hackers seized on the opportunity to create phishing campaigns targeting users leveraging popular virtual meeting technology. 

In April 2020, the FBI spread out an alert warning that cybercriminals were targeting businesses and healthcare workers using fake Zoom and Skype accounts for meetings, sending them emails that looked very similar to legitimate invitations. In one of the more evil versions of this phishing attack, cybercriminals send out meeting invitations using words and symbols like “termination” and “crucial HR meeting” to enhance the emotional reaction of victims to click past suspicious content.

Once a user clicked to join the meeting especially from a spam mail in the inbox but which look more formal, the fraudulent website recorded the user’s actual credentials to the services. The cybercriminal then used the information to further commit the cyber crime with the legitimacy of their phishing campaigns or identity theft, or worse.

More sophisticated campaigns involving Google Meet, Zoom and Microsoft Teams saw cybercriminals encrypting and registering domains animated using an app top level domain” to create “carbon copy” the landing pages that even use HTTPS to trick security products and even observant users with ease. According to an analysis by Checkpoint, new domain registrations with names involving “Zoom” most of the time increased by more than 1,700 in just a few weeks and still counting.

Cybercriminals furthered the urgency of the phishing attack with notification tied to emergencies and even personalized appeals. And, adding a new level, cybercriminals even began to target classrooms, registering domains that include typo squatting Google Classroom.

Users are the feeble link

With the evolution of cyber crime, even if most of us think we would be able to spot a phishing scam when we receive one, it only takes a momentary lapse in judgement for us to fall victim within the trap of hackers.

The panic one experience when they receive a message claiming that, for instance, there has been suspicious activity on the recipient’s account will in many cases cause people to overlook signs that the message is malicious and were project to be legitimate to believe on it.

But by that point it’s too late, with the victim already clicking links, opening attachments and handing over their username and password.

The good news is this is a weakness that organisations and individuals have the potential to address. All they have to do learn about the way phishing works and the clues to look out for the presentation they are putting forward to make the victim fall in the trap.

Unfortunately, most users do not receive the necessary training for the prevention of it. As a matter of fact, researchers have found that 52% of users receive training no more than twice per year, and 6% of users have never received any kind of security awareness training.

The outcome? IT departments are not at all confident in their users’ ability to recognise incoming threats, or in their organisation’s ability to cease phishing campaigns and related attacks activities.

Organisations aren’t doing enough

Staff awareness training is not the only step that organisations should take to better safeguard themselves from phishing scams. Before you know the weakness of your company its better to know about the tools that you should know about Like Trend Micro, Barracuda Spam Firewall, Proofpoint, Microsoft Defender and 100+ Email Security listed on one platforms at

Below highlights three key areas of weakness:

  • Insufficient backup exercise

In the circumstance of any ransomware attack, most organisations have insufficient backup processes. This leaves them unable to quickly restore content on servers of the business, user workstations and other endpoints back to a healthy state.

  • Deficiency of user testing

Most organisations do not have ample procedures in place to test their users, leaving them unable to determine which staff members are the most susceptible to an attack in your organisation.

Conducting a simulated phishing attack can help you establish whether your employees are vulnerable to phishing emails, enabling you to take urgent remedial action to improve your cyber security operations.

  • BYOD security risks

Many organisations deficient a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, meaning that, should a cyber criminal compromise an employee’s device, they will be able to acquire access to sensitive data not only on that device but to leverage their access across the complete network.

Types of Phishing Attacks

Since being first described in 1987, phishing has evolved into many highly-specialized tactics. And as digital technologies progress, this attack continues to find new ways to exploit vulnerabilities.

Below are the most pervasive types of phishing:

Standard Email Phishing – Arguably the widely known kind of phishing, this attack is an attempt to stealsensitive information via sending an email that seams to be from a legitimate organization or from website. It is not a targeted attack and can be conducted authentic.

Malware Phishing – Utilizing the similar techniques as email phishing, this attack encourages user to tap on a link or download an attachment into their device so malware can be installed on the device. It is currently the most prevalent form of phishing attack.

Spear Phishing – Where most phishing attacks cast a wide net, spear phishing is a highly-targeted, well-researched attack normally focused at business executives, public personas and other lucrative prey.

Smishing – SMS-enabled phishing sends malicious short links to smartphone users, often disguised as account notices, prize notifications or luring deals and political messages and many more.

Search Engine Phishing – In this kind of attack, cyber criminals can set ufraudulent websites specifically designed to gather personal information and direct payments details. These websites can show up in organic search results or as paid advertisements for popular search terms which gets the most clickbait.

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