Cybercriminals rely heavily on the age-old technique of phishing to launch attacks and wreak havoc. If you read up about cybersecurity, chances are this topic will come up a lot – after all, it’s still one of the top security threats we face today.
With malicious intent, a cybercriminal has many strategies to achieve their goals. They could steal employee login credentials by sending a phishing email, use ransomware for an extortion payout or even plant spyware in order to obtain sensitive information.
Despite the many changes that came with Covid-19, an alarming development was a sharp rise in phishing campaigns.
Even with increased security measures, phishing remains a major threat to businesses. Remote working has only exacerbated this problem due to the lack of reliable network protection outside of the office environment. Unfortunately, it looks like employees are going be vulnerable for some time yet!
Despite warnings from cybersecurity experts, phishing continues to be a highly successful tactic for scammers. How can this still be the case when so many people are informed about recognizing and avoiding these malicious attempts?
People may think they’re savvy enough to avoid clicking on a phishing email, but the truth is that criminals are constantly changing their strategies. As modern scams become increasingly harder to identify, it’s important for everyone stay one step ahead of cybercriminals and remain alert when opening emails.
Scammers are increasingly getting crafty – the latest tactic to hit unsuspecting victims is a reply-chain phishing attack that can be extremely hard to spot!
Reply-Chain Phishing is a growing threat to online security
Reply chains are a common feature in digital conversations, acting as an ever-evolving thread of discourse. Messages sent by multiple individuals add to the dialogue by attaching their responses and reactions at the bottom – kickstarting further conversation on what was initially said.
A poignant dialogue ensues as email replies steadily accumulate on a particular topic, providing an insightful look into the conversation.
It’s easy to let your guard down in the midst of an ongoing email exchange, but cybercriminals know that. Be vigilant even when engaging with familiar contacts – a sneaky phishing email might be hiding within those back-and-forths!
This devious reply-chain phishing attack is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing – it disguises itself within an existing thread, making the malicious email all too easy to fall for.
Ever wonder how cybercriminals can infiltrate a secure system?
Ever wonder how hackers can see confidential conversations? By taking advantage of email chains, a hacker is able to gain unauthorized entry into accounts involved in the conversation. All it takes is hacking one person’s account and suddenly their private emails are accessible!
The hacker has the unique advantage of being able to utilize an email address that is already familiar and accepted by their targets. This allows them to seamlessly blend in with prior replies, creating a response that appears genuine and trustworthy.
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Responders won’t sense a hint of suspicious intent in the reply.
- It comes from an email address of a colleague. This address has already been participating in the email conversation.
- It may sound natural and reference items in the discussion.
- It may use personalization. The email can call others by the names the hacker has seen in the reply chain.
Business Email Compromise (BEC) is on the rise
With the rise of data breaches, weak passwords and unsecured logins have made Business Email Compromise (BEC) a serious threat. Companies must work to protect their customers’ emails from cyber criminals who are eager to take advantage of vulnerable systems in order to gain accessor commit fraud.
In 2021, a shocking 77% of organizations were victims of business email compromise attacks – an increase from the already concerning 65% in 2020.
Companies everywhere are facing the looming threat of credential theft which could lead to devastating data breaches. Taking proactive steps now is vital in protecting your company from unauthorised access to their email accounts down the line.
Hackers are creative in their approach to Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams by using the reply-chain technique. Instead of just attempting a single attack, they take advantage of continued conversations to send malicious ransomware or steal sensitive data and sell it on the Dark Web for quick profits.
Don’t get caught in the web of phishing scams
Avoid the dangers of phishing scams in your organization by taking these preventive measures.
- Keep your business secure with a reliable password manager!
Single Sign-On is an effective way to protect employee data – it prevents reuse of passwords, ensuring they can’t be used across multiple applications. Using SSO also boosts security as it eliminates the need for learners to store easy-to crack weak passwords in their heads!
- Upgrade your email security with multi-factor authentication!
How can we protect our email logins from unexpected IP addresses? Implementing a system challenge that requires verification, such as entering an authentication code or answering a security question, could be the key to safeguarding accounts and preventing compromises.
- Give employees the tools to become champions of safety
To protect yourself from email attackers, it’s essential to be vigilant and stay alert for any suspicious behavior. Even the most experienced hackers can slip up – all you need is one mistake from them to detect an attack!
Is your email account safe from prying eyes?
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