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Spear Phishing Vs. Phishing


Spear Phishing Vs. Phishing

Both phishing and spear phishing are cyber-attack methods that attempt to attain sensitive or confidential information online. Whereas phishing attacks are general, spear phishing attacks are targeted.

A scammer can send one phishing email to thousands of recipients at once, casting a wide net in trying to snag victims. But spear phishing attempts to target vulnerable individuals using specific lures and personal information to establish trust.


What Makes Spear Phishing So Effective?

Over time, phishing scams have evolved from laughably easy-to-spot “Nigerian prince” scams into well-researched and remarkably effective campaigns that are difficult to detect and stop.

By using social engineering techniques, scammers provide information that lends credibility to their emails. They use this leverage to create believability, hoping to convince an innocent victim to believe their scheme and cooperate.


How Spear Phishing Works

There are several ways spear phishing attempts can be carried out. Common methods include:

  • A spear phisher poses as a friend, co-worker, boss, or other trusted entity asking for access to social media accounts or usernames and passwords to glean information that they will use to exfiltrate data elsewhere.

  • A spear phisher sends an email to their target. That email may include malicious links or attachments that the target will be asked to open, downloading malware or ransomware to their computer.

  • A spear phisher sends an email that directs the target to a spoofed website in which the target is asked to provide personal or confidential information such as PINs, account credentials, or access codes.



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