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Volume 30, Issue 1

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Monday, 07 October 2013 15:45

Spear Phishing 101 - Who Is Sending You Those Scam Emails And Why?

My last post opened the topic of cyber security for small business owners – what to worry about and when?  This post is going to focus upon Spear Phishing.   I asked for the help of one of our information security specialists, Scott “Shagghie” Scheferman to help with the technical details for this post. Spear phishing differs and is more serious than a simple phishing attach in that it is targeted either at a group, or worse, at the recipient specifically. Spear Phishing is an attack typically carried out via a targeted email sent with either a malicious attachment or with a link to a malicious website.  Most of our readers also know this is a bad thing, and that one shouldn’t click on links in emails sent from people the reader don’t know or trust.  A targeted and elegant spear phishing attack, however, is designed to bypass all of the conditioned barriers a typical user has to the “noise” on the Internet.

To truly protect yourself from spear phishing attacks, it is critical to understand what happens both before and after the nasty email in your inbox got there, and what happens when someone in your organization falls prey.  Having better insight into the attack from cradle to grave is itself a part of defending your organization.