A phishing attack is a process in which an imposter or an attacker sends emails to the users at large claiming to be someone they know or belonging to a brand/ services they use. Most of these emails ask users to share their personal information such as the bank account details, credit card number and pin numbers, or other such information which can lead to identity and financial theft. The emails would also ask the users to open a link or the attached document and download a file. When the user falls prey and performs any of the said actions, the malicious virus hidden in the email will enter their computer. It will provide the attackers access to the computer and allow them to steal the information stored on it without the user’s knowledge.
Over the years, many antivirus software products, spam and malware filters have been developed to detect such emails and prevent the users from being duped. Enterprises have become a hot target for the attackers. Even if one employee in the entire organization would become a victim, the attackers could access and control the entire system of the enterprise.
Almost every enterprise has antivirus software installed along with firewalls, spam filters, and other such email security systems. Yet, a good number of phishing emails slip past the filters and end up reaching the employees. Many employees have been duped and as a result, the enterprises have suffered losses in more ways than one.
If we wonder why, the answer is quite simple. Despite the claims, the traditional antivirus software packages do not successfully detect and prevent all kinds of phishing attacks. With changing technology, attackers are creating innovative methods to slip past the security filters.
What the companies need is phishing attack software that will provide all-round protection by identifying every suspicious and fraudulent email and alerting the users. The attackers not following the old methods of sending easily detectable fake emails. Instead, they are targeting a certain section of employees with highly intelligent email techniques. It is more or less impossible for the traditional antivirus software that relies on a standard database to compare the emails to identify and detect the latest phishing attacks.
If we consider Zero Day Attack as an example, it is one of the newest phishing attacks in the market that doesn’t get detected by most software packages. On average, about 1.5 million new phishing sites and email ids are created. To keep up with the ever-increasing list of fake websites is not a solution. It takes 24-48 hours to create a signature of complex malware, while it takes less than 82 seconds for an employee to fall victim to the phishing attack.
So, we need something uses a different technique to detect fake URLs without spending hours of time on it. Only then can the employees and enterprises be saved from phishing attacks. The latest and advanced phishing attack software used artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to scan and recognize the hidden malicious code in the emails and alert the employees. The most common type of Zero Day attacks are-
- Microsoft Office Marcos
- Macros are one of the most helpful tools offered by Microsoft. With one click, the repetitive tasks can be automated, thereby saving time for the employees.
- When the attacker sends an email attachment with an Excel or other Microsoft file, the macros are coded to install malware throughout the system.
- Using the machine learning technology, the latest anti phishing software identifies the hidden code and alerts the users about the email be a phishing attack.
- Malicious Links
- Embedded links within emails make it easy for websites to share information with their customers.
- The same feature is used by scammers. They include links that will lead the user to a fake website. The IP address and domain names are similar to the brand they impersonate making it impossible for users to detect it as fraudulent at a single glance.
- The anti-phishing software uses computer vision technology to read the minute changes in the domain names and also checks the final page which the link leads to.
- Infected PDFs
- The attackers take advantage of the features offered by Adobe Acrobat to include malicious software in the PDF files and send them to their victims.
- The phishing attack software identifies the malware and blocks the email.
- Embedded Code
- HTML emails allow employees to include code in the email, which will be executed when the email is opened.
- The next-generation anti phishing software detects this hidden code and stops it from being executed.
The anti-phishing software works on any device in any location. It can be deployed throughout an enterprise within a matter of minutes.
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Edited by Temitope Adelekan