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Phishing Emails

by David Frankham | Sep 21, 2015

According to Wikipedia's definition, "Phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication."

Common Phishing 'attacks' include emails that claim to be from banks and other financial institutions such as PayPal, Airlines, and online shops or pretty much anywhere you have an online account.

The following screen shots are of a Phishing message claiming to be from PayPal. There are a number of indicators that this is a fake message:

1. English used “Informations Changed” doesn’t match what you would expect from such a provider.

2. The Sender is “Inbox (tata@sasa.com)” An email from PayPal shouldn’t come from another domain.

3. Although the link appears to be to PayPal’s web site, if you mouse over (place the mouse over the link and look down the bottom left corner of your browser) you can see that the actual link is to a non-related site (circled in red).

Phishing E-mails

If you clicked on the link, it is likely that it would take you to a website that looks like a PayPal website, and it will prompt you for details relating to your PayPal account. If you enter your account information it can then be used for fraudulent activity.

 

There are other cases where the website will contain malicious code such as Ransomware that will attempt to infect your system, encrypt your files and ask you to pay money to get your files back in a usable state.

The above example shows that phishing emails can look genuine. To protect yourself, and your company it is important to be aware that you may receive such emails, and the tricks that are used in them. If in doubt, do not click on a link in an email. If you wish to check an online account, go to it directly from a web browser.

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