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Types of Phishing Attacks

11 Types of Phishing Attacks You Should be Aware Of

February 08, 2023

Phishing attacks are one of the common cybersecurity threats we face today. Phishing attacks aim to deceive users into disclosing sensitive information, like login credentials or personal details. Cybercriminals often employ phishing attacks to carry out financial theft or gain unauthorized access to valuable business information.

This article will examine the most common types of phishing attacks:

  1. Spear Phishing 
    The most prevalent form of phishing is spear phishing, a highly targeted attack that focuses on specific individuals or organizations. With this type of attack, the victim is usually sent emails which are designed to look like credible communications from an entity they are familiar with. The emails are designed to trick users into disclosing confidential information that can be exploited by the attacker.

  2. Whaling
    Whaling, a variation of spear phishing, specifically targets high-profile individuals, such as senior executives, who possess access to the most sensitive data or significant financial resources within an organization.

  3. Vishing
    Vishing is a type of phishing that utilizes voice communication. Attackers impersonate trustworthy individuals or representatives of reputable organizations to extract confidential information from unsuspecting victims.

  4. Smishing
    Smishing is a type of phishing that uses text messages or SMS. Smishing attempts deceive individuals into clicking malicious links that direct them to phishing websites.

  5. Pharming
    Pharming involves infecting a victim's computer with malicious code that redirects them to counterfeit versions of familiar websites they frequently visit. The intention behind pharming is to steal login credentials and other confidential information.

  6. Deceptive Phishing
    Deceptive phishing involves hackers sending messages that appear to originate from legitimate sources, often warning users about urgent matters like a potential computer virus. The objective is to trick users into clicking malicious links that can infect their devices or connect them with scammers.

  7. Evil Twin Phishing
    In an evil twin phishing attack, hackers create fraudulent Wi-Fi networks that closely resemble legitimate ones. When users unknowingly connect to these malicious networks, all their online activities become visible to the attackers, who can then steal sensitive information.

  8. Clone Phishing
    Clone phishing entails hackers duplicating legitimate emails that the target regularly receives, such as messages from their bank. By adding misleading information and a malicious link, the attackers aim to deceive users into revealing sensitive information.

  9. Angler Phishing
    Angler phishing exploits fake social media posts to trick individuals into sharing confidential information or downloading malware.

  10. Domain Spoofing
    Domain spoofing occurs when hackers create fake versions of well-known websites to deceive people into divulging sensitive information. These spoofed websites often employ URLs that are common misspellings of legitimate website or use a legitimate company name as a subdomain or folder within another domain.

  11. Crypto Phishing
    Crypto phishing is a specialized form of phishing attack that targets individuals' crypto keys, which grant access to their digital wallets containing cryptocurrencies. This type of attack may involve viruses, spoofed websites, or deceptive emails.

Tags:  IT Security