What is spear phishing?

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What is spear phishing and what is it designed to do?

Spear phishing is a targeted E-Mail-Angriff on an individual. In a spear phishing attack, cyber criminals use research gathered from social media and a user's online web presence to craft an email that appears to come from a friend or trusted colleague. The email may ask the user to share sensitive information, divulge credentials or to take some other action.

Spear phishing is designed to take advantage of a user's trust in the source of an email to get sensitive information that may allow hackers to steal identities, access financial accounts or breach corporate security.

Spear phishing attacks have led to devastating consequences for companies in a wide variety of industries. Every month, the headlines chronicle the latest successful attack, and IT teams everywhere resolve to implement anti phishingdefenses to avoid becoming the next victim.

Here's a brief tutorial on "What is spear phishing?" that provides some answers and phishing tips.

<p>What is spear phishing and what is it designed to do?</p>

Spear phishing versus regular phishing & CEO fraud phishing

Spear phishing is a more targeted version of a phishing scam. A phishing attack typically targets a wide number of users with email that comes from a seemingly trusted source like a bank, credit card company or another business that many users interact with.

CEO fraud phishing, also known as whaling, is an even more targeted attack where email appears to come from the organization's chief executive or another C-suite address like the CFO or CIO. These attacks typically ask the user to transfer money to an account or vendor that turns out to be fraudulent, or to share credentials that allow hackers to access the corporate network.

<p>Spear phishing versus regular phishing &amp; CEO fraud phishing</p>

Spear phishing avoidance and prevention with Mimecast

Successful phishing attacks can cost a company millions of dollars, lead to fines and legal action, and result in a loss of revenue, customer trust and business opportunity.

Employees can help prevent attacks by learning how to spot phishing attempts. The first step is often to watch out for links, email addresses and domains that don't match or that contain anomalies, and to stay away from opening any attachment unless the user is absolutely certain it's legitimate. Bad grammar and poor spelling are also signs of a potential fraudulent email, as is language that threatens the user unless they take urgent action.

Mimecast provides anti phishing software as part of an integrated suite of email management services for security, archiving, continuity, backup and recovery, and compliance. Mimecast's cloud-based solutions are offered as SaaS-based services, enabling organizations to rollout spear phishing prevention measures immediately.

Learn more about spear phishing and Mimecast's solutions to prevent it.

<p>Spear phishing avoidance and prevention with Mimecast</p>

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