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Phishing is one of the most common methods used by hackers. Phishing attacks have gradually developed and diversified with increasing attacks in recent years. Hackers began to use social engineering methods to deceive their victims. With these methods, victims’ confidential or personal information was stolen and then used for malicious purposes. It seems that hackers can now plan these cyber attacks very easily. The personal information you share on the internet (such as your name, date of birth, address) makes you more vulnerable to these attacks. Using this information, hackers can easily log into their personal or bank accounts. Let’s look at the 3 most frequently used phishing methods in these phishing attacks!

Phishing attacks gained serious momentum with the year 2020. Hackers who take advantage of the virus have increased the number and impact of cyberattacks, and phishing has become the biggest threat we can face in the digital environment. Hackers are unlikely to reduce their attacks in 2021, which creates a hazardous environment for all companies and us. In other words, companies that want to protect their corporate data need to be knowledgeable about the most common phishing methods. So, what are the 3 most frequently used phishing methods in recent years?

3 Most Frequently Used Phishing Methods: Deception

Deception is a method used in almost all phishing attacks. With this method, hackers aim to steal users’ personal data using their usernames and passwords. To this end, they act like a company that is already known and legitimate, reaching users via e-mail, SMS, or phone calls. In these calls or messages to make users do what they want, hackers say that there is an emergency or that they have earned money/gifts from the lottery.

Deception Methods Used in Phishing Attacks

Malicious and legitimate links: Hackers place legitimate links in phishing emails in addition to malicious links. In this way, they transmit phishing messages without getting stuck in the filtering tools of email systems.

Malicious and harmless code: Hackers use both malicious and harmless code together when creating phishing sites. In this way, they aim to trick EOP (online exchange protection).

Modified Logos: Hackers use the organization’s logo they impersonate on phishing sites or phishing emails they create. Usually, the logo is used in a different or modified form. But there are also e-mail filters that can detect these logos.

3 Most Frequently Used Phishing Methods: Spear Phishing

Contrary to popular belief, hackers do not usually target a large audience with the “spray and pray” method in phishing attacks. On the contrary, they target a single user in cyberattacks.

Using this method, hackers aim to carry out an attack on their victims with the information on their own lives. The phishing email includes the victim’s name, place of employment, job, phone number, and all the other information they obtained. The browser you use is critical to protect against such phishing attacks, and if you do not use a secure browser, you are very likely to fall victim to an attack.

Also, employees’ use of social media is also very critical. According to research, users who share corporate or sensitive personal information in their social media accounts are the most attacked by hackers.

3 Most Frequently Used Phishing Methods: Whaling Method

In the Whaling method, which is the next level of the spear-phishing method, hackers target executives, including CEOs in particular, and aim to capture their personal information and credentials.

If hackers manage to deceive the CEO in such phishing attacks, they can commit major fraud. Using the company’s CEO or other senior executives’ credentials, they can make money transfers to their own bank accounts, capture employees’ tax information, and direct all tax returns to their own accounts. They can also sell their tax information on the dark web and create fake tax returns.

The method used in this type of phishing attack is almost the same as for phishing attacks.

  • First of all, they infiltrate the company network. Hackers mostly use rootkits and malware to infiltrate the network.
  • Then, they call the target by phone. After the phishing e-mail, hackers make a phone call to confirm the information in the e-mail. In this way, they gain the trust of the target.

Why is The Whaling Method So Successful?

Whaling is quite successful because CEOs do not participate in cybersecurity awareness training and phishing simulations like employees. In addition to employees, it is vital for senior executives and CEOs to participate in regular and planned security awareness training. This way you can prevent such phishing attacks. For the most measures against cyberattacks, you can take a look at the cybersecurity awareness training and phishing simulations we offer you.

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