spear phishing

Define Spear Phishing 

What is spear phishing? Spear phishing is a targeted attack to steal sensitive information, usually for malicious purposes. This is achieved by acquiring personal details on the victim such as their friends, hometowns, and employers. Spear phishing attack – the attackers then disguise themselves as someone trustworthy, so they can acquire sensitive information through spear phishing emails or online messaging.

spear phishing vs phishing; phishing definition 

Spear phishing is a specific type of phishing, in which the attacker disguises themselves as someone trustworthy and makes contact with their victims via email or text messages.

Unlike spear phishing, phishing attacks are not personalized to their victims and they usually send out different emails at the same time. The goal of a phishing attack is to get you to click on links in an email or download malware. Spear phishers target specific people while also personalizing messages by using information about them from public sources like social media profiles, company websites, etc.


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What is spear phishing in cyber security?

Spear-phishing attackers target victims who put personal information on the internet. They might view individual profiles while scanning a social networking site, in order to find an email address or other useful information that they use in their attacks.

Hackers often use spear phishing to gain access to confidential information. They might send people messages that ask for their passwords and account numbers.

Spear Phishing vs Vishing (and other variations)

Smishing, vishing, and spear-fishing are all variations on phishing, with each employing a different mode of communication or a different targeting strategy. Smishing employs SMS messages and texts to deceive targets, whereas vishing uses phone conversations to deceive victims. Both masquerade as respectable organizations in order to defraud their targets.

These sorts of assaults are used by hackers because they have a greater success rate than traditional techniques of hacking while requiring less knowledge to perform. As a result of these factors, the frequency of phishing, smishing, vishing, and spear-phishing assaults is growing.

How do spear phishing attacks differ from standard phishing attacks? How to avoid spear phishing attack

  • If you are looking for a way to reduce your risk of being targeted by scammers, make sure that if there is anything on social media or online profiles that may attract them, do not post it. If possible configure privacy settings so they can only see limited information about the profile.
  • Make sure your passwords are different from each other so that if one of them is compromised, it doesn’t jeopardize the security of all the accounts you have.
  • Make sure to always update your software. Security updates can help protect you from common attacks.
  • If an organization, such as your bank, sends you a link in an email and the anchor text does not match what it says is going to be at that destination or if there are any discrepancies with the URL itself then don’t click on them because they could lead you into a spear-phishing attack. Many attackers will use words like “click here for more information details about this offer” when really clicking anywhere within their emails would take users to another website.
  • When you get an email from a friend who is asking for personal information, be cautious. If it’s not one that they have previously used and the business doesn’t exist in any other way except through email contact, then delete the request.
  • Implement a data protection program at your organization: A data security plan that combines user education and implementation of a solution will help to prevent loss due to spear-phishing attacks. For midsize companies, DLP software should be installed for sensitive areas as well.

Protect Your Organization from Spear Phishing Attacks and Other Cybersecurity Threats

SecurityStudio help information security leaders at organizations ensure they’re protected against cybersecurity threats, stay insurable, and legally defensible with our risk assessment and risk management software. Schedule a demo to learn how we can help.