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    Smishing and vishing: How these cyber attacks work and how to prevent them

    Smishing and vishing are types of phishing attacks that try to lure victims via SMS message and voice calls. Both rely on the same emotional appeals employed in traditional phishing scams and are designed to drive you into urgent action. The difference is the delivery method.

    InfoSec at Your Service

    By Michelle Drolet, Contributor, CSO | Aug 9, 2019 3:00 am PDT

    Opinion

    Smishing and vishing: How these cyber attacks work and how to prevent them

    As scammers aim to manipulate people into handing over sensitive data, phishing attacks are expanding into new channels and growing even more sophisticated.

    Jane Kelly / Roshi11 / Egor Suvorov / Getty Images

    Smishing and vishing are types of phishing attacks that try to lure victims via SMS message and voice calls. Both rely on the same emotional appeals employed in traditional phishing scams and are designed to drive you into urgent action. The difference is the delivery method.

    “Cyberthieves can apply manipulation techniques to many forms of communication because the underlying principles remain constant,” explains security awareness leader Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4. “Lure victims with bait and then catch them with hooks.”

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    What is smishing?

    Smishing definition: Smishing (SMS phishing) is a type of phishing attack conducted using SMS (Short Message Services) on cell phones.

    Just like email phishing scams, smishing messages typically include a threat or enticement to click a link or call a number and hand over sensitive information. Sometimes they might suggest you install some security software, which turns out to be malware.

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    Smishing example: A typical smishing text message might say something along the lines of, “Your ABC Bank account has been suspended. To unlock your account, tap here: https://bit.ly/2LPLdaU” and the link provided will download malware onto your phone. Scammers are also adept at adjusting to the medium they’re using, so you might get a text message that says, “Is this really a pic of you? https://bit.ly/2LPLdaU” and if you tap that link to find out, once again you’re downloading malware.

    What is vishing?

    Vishing definition: Vishing (voice phishing) is a type of phishing attack that is conducted by phone and often targets users of Voice over IP (VoIP) services like Skype.

    It’s easy to for scammers to fake caller ID, so they can appear to be calling from a local area code or even from an organization you know. If you don’t pick up, then they’ll leave a voicemail message asking you to call back. Sometimes these kinds of scams will employ an answering service or even a call center that’s unaware of the crime being perpetrated.

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    Once again, the aim is to get credit card details, birthdates, account sign-ins, or sometimes just to harvest phone numbers from your contacts. If you respond and call back, there may be an automated message prompting you to hand over data and many people won’t question this, because they accept automated phone systems as part of daily life now.

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    How to prevent smishing and vishing

    We’re on our guard a bit more with email nowadays because we’re used to receiving spam and scams are common, but text messages and calls can still feel more legitimate to many people. As we do more of our shopping, banking, and other activities online through our phones, the opportunities for scammers proliferate. To avoid becoming a victim you have to stop and think.

    “Common sense is a general best practice and should be an individual’s first line of defense against online or phone fraud,” says Sjouwerman.

    Although the advice on how to avoid getting hooked by phishing scams was written with email scams in mind, it applies to these new forms of phishing just as well. At root, trusting no one is a good place to start. Never tap or click links in messages, look up numbers and website addresses and input them yourself. Don’t give any information to a caller unless you’re certain they are legitimate – you can always call them back.

    It’s better to be safe than sorry, so always err on the side of caution. No organization is going to rebuke you for hanging up and then calling them directly (having looked up the number yourself) to ensure they really are who they say they are.

    स्रोत : www.csoonline.com

    What Are the Different Types of Phishing?

    What Are the Different Types of Phishing?

    Types of phishing attacks range from classic email phishing schemes to more inventive approaches such as spear phishing and smishing. All have the same purpose – to steal your personal details.

    What are the different types of phishing attacks?

    Phishing attacks are social engineering attacks, and they can have a great range of targets depending on the attacker. They could be generic scam emails looking for anyone with a PayPal account.

    Phishing can also be a targeted attack focused on a specific individual. The attacker often tailors an email to speak directly to you, and includes information only an acquaintance would know. An attacker usually gets this information after gaining access to your personal data. If the email is this type, it is very difficult for even the most cautious of recipients not to become a victim. PhishMe Research determined that ransomware accounts for over 97% of all phishing emails.

    What is spear phishing?

    Fishing with a pole may land you a number of items below the waterline – a flounder, bottom feeder, or piece of trash. Fishing with a spear allows you to target a specific fish. Hence the name.

    Spear phishing targets a specific group or type of individual such as a company’s system administrator. Below is an example of a spear phishing email. Note the attention paid to the industry in which the recipient works, the download link the victim is asked to click, and the immediate response the request requires.

    What is whaling?

    Whaling is an even more targeted type of phishing that goes after the whales – a marine animal even bigger than a fish. These attacks typically target a CEO, CFO, or any CXX within an industry or a specific business. A whaling email might state that the company is facing legal consequences and that you need to click on the link to get more information.

    The link takes you to a page where you are asked to enter critical data about the company such as tax ID and bank account numbers.

    What is smishing?

    Smishing is an attack that uses text messaging or short message service (SMS) to execute the attack. A common smishing technique is to deliver a message to a cell phone through SMS that contains a clickable link or a return phone number.

    A common example of a smishing attack is an SMS message that looks like it came from your banking institution. It tells you your account has been compromised and that you need to respond immediately. The attacker asks you to verify your bank account number, SSN, etc. Once the attacker receives the information, the attacker has control of your bank account.

    What is vishing?

    Vishing has the same purpose as other types of phishing attacks. The attackers are still after your sensitive personal or corporate information. This attack is accomplished through a voice call. Hence the “v” rather than the “ph” in the name.

    A common vishing attack includes a call from someone claiming to be a representative from Microsoft. This person informs you that they’ve detected a virus on your computer. You’re then asked to provide credit card details so the attacker can install an updated version of anti-virus software on your computer. The attacker now has your credit card information and you have likely installed malware on your computer.

    The malware could contain anything from a banking Trojan to a bot (short for robot). The banking Trojan watches your online activity to steal more details from you – often your bank account information, including your password.

    A bot is software designed to perform whatever tasks the hacker wants it to. It is controlled by command and control (C&C) to mine for bitcoins, send spam, or launch an attack as part of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

    What is email phishing?

    Email phishing is the most common type of phishing, and it has been in use since the 1990s. Hackers send these emails to any email addresses they can obtain. The email usually informs you that there has been a compromise to your account and that you need to respond immediately by clicking on a provided link. These attacks are usually easy to spot as language in the email often contains spelling and/or grammatical errors.

    Some emails are difficult to recognize as phishing attacks, especially when the language and grammar are more carefully crafted. Checking the email source and the link you’re being directed to for suspicious language can give you clues as to whether the source is legitimate.

    Another phishing scam, referred to as sextortion, occurs when a hacker sends you an email that appears to have come from you. The hacker claims to have access to your email account and your computer. They claim to have your password and a recorded video of you.

    The hackers claim that you have been watching adult videos from your computer while the camera was on and recording. The demand is that you pay them, usually in Bitcoin, or they will release the video to family and/or colleagues.

    स्रोत : www.trendmicro.com

    What is Vishing?

    Vishing is a cyber crime that relies on the phone and voicemails to steal confidential and corporate information. Know how vishing happens and how to prevent it.

    WHAT IS VISHING?

    Vishing is a cyber crime that uses the phone to steal personal confidential information from victims. Often referred to as voice phishing, cyber criminals use savvy social engineering tactics to convince victims to act, giving up private information and access to bank accounts.

    Like phishing or smishing, vishing relies on convincing victims that they are doing the right thing by responding to the caller. Often the caller will pretend to be calling from the government, tax department, police, or the victim’s bank.

    Cyber criminals use threats and persuasive language to make victims feel like they have no other option than to provide the information being asked. Some cyber criminals use forceful conversation to frame their conversation as helping the victim avoid criminal charges. A second and common tactic is to leave threatening voicemails that tell the recipient to call back immediately, or they risk being arrested, having bank accounts shut down, or worse.

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    Often cyber criminals will tailor their vishing calls and messages to the time of the year or a trending news story.

    For example, during tax season, criminals will leave messages pretending to be from the IRS. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber criminals called people promising vaccines and testing kits if they provided their bank account information and mailing address.

    Vishing is used to attack both individuals and organizations

    A cyber criminal may research an organization, find an employee’s contact information online, and then call on behalf of the CEO asking the victim to transfer funds to pay an outstanding invoice or email personnel files.

    What is social engineering?

    Social engineering is a technique cyber criminals employ to trick people into giving up confidential information. Social engineering relies on the basic human instinct of trust to steal personal and corporate information that can be used to commit further cyber crimes.

    How Does Vishing Happen?

    A successful vishing attack requires more than just calling random phone numbers. Cyber criminals use a strategic approach to steal from victims:

    1.

    The cyber criminal starts by researching their victims. This process can include sending phishing emails, hoping that someone will respond, and providing their phone number. Or the criminal uses specialized software to call multiple people using a phone number that has the same area code as the victims.

    2.

    If the victim has already been tricked by a phishing email, they are unlikely to be suspicious of the caller. Depending on the sophistication level of the phishing/vishing scheme, the victim is expecting a phone call. And cyber criminals know that people are more likely to answer calls from numbers with a local area code.

    3.

    Now that the cyber criminal has someone on the phone, their next move is to appeal to the victim’s human instincts of trust, fear, greed, and desire to help. Depending on the vishing scheme, the criminal may use all or just one of these social engineering techniques to convince the victim that they are doing the right thing. The cyber criminal may ask for bank account information, credit card details, and a mailing address or ask the victim to take action by transferring funds, emailing confidential work-related documents, or providing details about their employer.

    4.

    The cyber crime does not stop here. Now that the cyber criminal has this information, they can proceed to commit further crimes. For example, the cyber criminal may drain the victim’s bank account, commit identity theft, use the victim’s credit card details to make unauthorized purchases, and then email the victim’s colleagues to trick someone into giving up confidential work information.

    Some vishing schemes give victims a phone number to call if they have questions or want to follow up, for example, on the processing of their taxes or to find out the results of their COVID-19 virus test. This act helps legitimize the cyber criminal and gives the victim confidence. If the victim does call the number, they may be connected to voicemail or talk to a human who continues the vishing scam.

    Four Common Vishing Techniques

    1. Wardialing

    The cyber criminal uses software to call specific area codes, using a message that involves a local bank, business, police department, or other local organization. When the call is answered, the automated message begins, urging the person to provide their full name, credit card details, bank account information, mailing address, and even social security details. The recorded message may suggest that this information is needed to confirm that the victim’s account has not been compromised or confirm valid account details.

    स्रोत : terranovasecurity.com

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