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Spear Phishing: Who’s Getting Caught?

Online security threats are something we’ve all heard about, but do you know how big the threat really is?

The stereotypical view of somebody sitting alone in their basement hacking into your Facebook account is outdated. Hackers are becoming far more sophisticated.

Professional groups of highly skilled hackers, sometimes government backed and politically motivated, are targeting an ever increasing number of corporations. The attacks are not random, but rather targeted and persistent. A 2012 whitepaper by security software provider, Symantec, suggests that “Victims are attacked, not for petty crime or theft, but for the wholesale gathering of intelligence and intellectual property.”

The most common means of infiltration is spear phishing; crafting a convincing email purportedly from a trusted source that, when opened, infects the victim’s computer. If it sounds too simple, don’t be fooled. Spear phishing emails have improved tenfold in just a few short years and is now virtually impossible to detect by the untrained eye. Even the most security conscious organizations are falling victim to spear phishing, like RSA Security in 2011. The problem is “humans trust email as a platform, and that’s [our] first downfall” (Mimoso, 2012).

As a cloud-based virtual data room provider used to securely share confidential documents, Firmex takes a great interest in discussions around online security. We’ve brought together the following Infographic to explain the growing threat of APT attacks, and how spear phishing is impacting the corporate environment.

Spear Phishing - Who's Getting Caught?Infographic

 

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Debbie Stephenson

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