Phishing costs business millions of dollars every year, and the phishing landscape is continually changing. Phishing criminals are constantly changing their methods of gathering personal information for their own financial benefit.

Phishing attacks generally consist of contacting a large group of people, while impersonating a legitimate business or company. The phishing content then tries to gather personal information from the receiver, whether it be name, email, login or bank details. Phishing attacks generally contain generic messages or a message that warns the recipient of a security vulnerability or account issue, which requires the user to login.

Spear Phishing
Similar to general phishing, spear phishing is an attempt to gather information. Unlike general phishing, spear phishing is more targeted at the receiver. The message will generally contain a personalised message that has been tailored for the recipient. Spear phishing attacks have been becoming increasingly popular with phishers as they are generally more likely to trick someone into giving over personal information

Whaling is very similar to spear phishing, it is generally a target message to an executive or senior management within a business; hence the name. These types of attacks generally come in the form of an official letter or document, like a subpoena or a message from a government department. The phisher here is hoping to gather information about the business, or the executive individual that can then be used for financial gain.

How It Happens…

There are a number of different ways that a phishing attack can occur. The most common attack is hacked website, however there are also instances when a website has been setup solely as a phishing domain.

Hacked Website
As the name suggests a hacked website, is a website that has been compromised and the malicious content has been uploaded. There are a number of different ways that someone can gain access to a website illegally. The most common hack is through a website plugin, or content management system vulnerability. This occurs when a plugin or content management system release an update to the software however the website owner forgets to install the latest update. When this happens, the website is open to known vulnerabilities with that software version. Often site owner’s of hacked websites have no idea the site has been hacked, as the phishing pages are put deep within their website directory structure, and the hackers do not modify the normal site content.

Phishing Domain
A phishing domain is a website that has been setup for the sole purpose of hosting phishing content. These websites are generally created with fraudulent information. In these situations it can be hard to have the content removed because the site owner is the one that setup the content. There is also a high probability that these domains are hosting a number of different phishing sites. Site Takedown has formed relationships with hosting providers and domain registrars so that we can work with them to have these fraudulent accounts removed.

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Proactive Phishing Detection

Early detection of phishing sites is vital in reducing the risk of severe impact to your brand and financial damage to your organization. At Cyberwebnic , we have developed in-house proprietary anti-phishing tools to process millions of domains and URLs each day scanning for phishing threats.

We provide domain name registration monitoring, scanning of spam and malicious URLs and use proprietary code to detect phishing sites – often before a spam email campaign has even begun.