Posted by: Heather Shy on March 3, 2017 at 1:00 pm
Are email scams targeted at specific people or totally random?
A couple of news releases this week show that targeted email scams are real. How your company is targeted may depend on your industry. Scammers also choose their victims based on their role within the business.
First: Google Research found that business email addresses receive less general spam, but much more phishing and malware attacks.
Further, Google found that certain types of businesses received different attacks. Who was most affected? Real estate firms were more likely to be attacked by malware. However, entertainment, finance and even IT were more targeted by phishing than other attack types.
Second: An article in Infosecurity magazine, reporting on a presentation at The European Information Security Summit, offers a fascinating glimpse at how hackers can target specific high-level employees.
The example given highlighted the Anthem breach from 2015 that stole personal and financial data from 80 million records.
In that case, hackers specifically targeted an employee with high-level security credentials. They spent a year gathering personal information about them from all over the internet. They pieced together details from the person’s professional networking site, Facebook page, and even a dating profile. The scammers then used that info in what’s called a “spear-phishing” attack to gain access to the data they were after.
Could you be next? Beware! Protect your personal data and your company data will be safer.