ClickCease Phishing Attacks Latest Trend - Sacramento, CA - Cybersecurity Experts in Northern California

Phishing Attacks Latest Trend

What’s a Picture Worth?

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? What if the picture is worth more than a thousand dollars–in damages? What if the picture you’re emailed and clicking on is a cute and cuddly kitten or puppy? Or what if it’s a deal so good it’s too good to be true? But what if the cute and cuddly pet or deal is really a malicious phishing scheme?

In a new twist on phishing campaigns, cybercriminals are luring unsuspecting victims to click on images, instead of downloading malicious files or clicking suspicious links. What can you do? What are the warning signs you can recognize to keep yourself and your organization safe?

How Does this Image-Based Phishing Work?

So, what’s the problem with clicking on a picture of a cute, cuddly kitten or puppy dog? Or the image that details a killer deal or one time offer you have to act on now?

It works like this: you click on an image, but instead of going to a legitimate website, you are directed to an illegitimate site designed to steal your personal information.

Imagine being lured by a cute kitten photo, only to find out that Mr. Whiskers was actually a wolf–in a cute kitten getup! Not so cute anymore, right?

How Can You Tell if an Image is Part of a Phishing Campaign Attack?

Some warning signs to watch out for are:

  1. Unexpected emails
    • Did you get an email from someone you don’t know or weren’t expecting? Be cautious! Like accepting candy from a stranger, you never know what you’re going to get!
  2. Too good to be true
    • If an email promises you a free cruise or vacation or a million dollars just for clicking on an image, remember the Rule of Promises: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
  3. Spelling and grammar mistakes
    • We all make typos, but if an email is riddled with errors, it could be a sign that something is “phishy” is going on.
  4. Mismatched logos or branding
    • If an email claims to be from a reputable company but the logo or branding doesn’t match up, assume it’s a scam.

How Can You Protect Your Business from these Image-Based Phishing Campaign Attacks?

Following these steps will help safeguard you and your business from these image-based phishing attacks:

  1. Educate your employees
    • As “knowledge is power,” make sure your team is aware of the latest phishing tactics and knows how to spot the warning signs.
  2. Keep software up-to-date
    • Like driving your car with bald tires is not good, so is letting your software become outdated. Regular updates help patch security vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit.
  3. Use strong passwords
    • Resist the urge to use “easy” passwords like “password123” or the like for your accounts. And never use the same password across accounts! A strong, unique password for each account will help prevent unauthorized access, and using a password manager is even better.
  4. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA)
    • MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring people to verify their identity through another method, like a text message or fingerprint scan. This can prevent accounts from being accessed without appropriate authorization.
  5. Backup your data
    • In case disaster strikes, you will want to make sure to have a backup of all your files and data. That way, if your data does get compromised, you won’t be left high and dry without recourse to access your information.

What’s a Person to Do?

Even though cybercriminals are growing and changing with the times, like using AI to enhance and empower their phishing campaigns with WormGPT, you don’t need to panic. They may be getting smarter and smarter, more and more tech savvy day by day with their tactics, but you do not need to fear.

By being aware of the warning signs and taking proactive steps to protect your business, you can stay out of sync with these digital tricksters. Not all that glitters is gold, but staying vigilant will help safeguard you and your organization.

We Get IT!

We get it–all of this can be a lot to handle: updating software, training employees, enabling MFA, implementing a password manager, backing up your data, etc. You’ve got your business to run and can’t be concerned with all these all-important, ever-pressing needs.

You’re in luck! We not only get it, we get IT: not only do we understand your situation, we can resolve IT! If you need support, contact us today right away!