What is Spear Phishing? [All About It]

A phishing scam is an internet fraud that primarily involves dubious actions taken by unidentified parties with the goal of stealing your sensitive data, such as credit card and bank account information.

They send spoofing emails with enticing or intimidating subject lines through phishing scams in an effort to get you to click the scam link and log in to your account under the impression that it is the legitimate one.

Spear phishing is a type of electronic communication fraud that targets a specific individual, company, or organization. It is intended to steal data for malicious purposes; however, fraudsters may consider hacking the system on the PC of the person they are targeting. It is specifically designed to steal sensitive information from a specific person for malicious purposes.

Fraudulent electronic communication is specifically designed to steal sensitive information from a specific person for malicious purposes. Following the receipt of information from victims such as friends, relatives, employment, location, and what they have purchased via internet shopping.

To identify the symptoms of spear phishing, some of the signs and symptoms listed here will assist you.

Symptoms of Spear Phishing 

1- Different Addresses, Links, and Domains 

To detect spear phishing, keep an eye out for inconsistencies such as false domain names, links, and email addresses. To check the accuracy of previous communication addresses with the sender’s current email address and see if they match. Only click the URL if you are certain that the website is not fraudulent.

2- The Images appear to be of very Poor Quality. 

Most reputable companies include high-quality logos and indicators in their email signatures. Such details are rarely of interest to cybercriminals. Their primary goal will be to deceive and assault people.

If someone receives an unsolicited email with unclear graphics, it could be a sign of something more serious. Before you click any links in an email, make sure it is genuine and legal.

3- Unusual and suspicious tone 

Cybercriminals who engage in spear-phishing use known contacts of victims to trick them into downloading a malicious virus. 

To counterattack, carefully examine the message’s tone and appearance and compare it to previous email matches from the same person. If you notice unusual wording, you should block or avoid such email contacts.

4- Interesting subject line with a Promising Tone 

Spear phishing occurs when someone sends you an email with the intent of allowing you to take immediate action. Typically, fraudsters or those with bad intentions will send you an email with the subject “urgent action.”

They are looking for recipients who will read it and respond quickly. It is advised that you exercise extreme caution before clicking any links contained in such emails.

5. Strange demands 

When scammers or spear-phishing scammers pose as your colleague or boss, they usually ask you to fill out forms or download software. Before responding to such requests, you must first examine the structure and determine whether it is compatible with the company’s internal processes.

How Do You Tell The Difference Between Spear-Phishing and Phishing? 

  • Unlike spear phishing, which targets a single person, group, or company, phishing targets a large list of contacts in bulk. 
  • It takes a long time to achieve spear-phishing results, but it only takes a short time to send emails to different people. 
  • In comparison to phishing attackers, identifying spear-phishing perpetrators is extremely difficult. 
  • Spear threats are more dangerous than phishing. 
  • Personal messages in spear phishing appear trustworthy and cannot be detected as a scam. 
  • On the contrary, because phishing emails are sent in bulk, they contain low-quality images and spelling errors that reveal their bad intentions.
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What provisions do laws have in place to combat Spear phishing?

Section 66A 

This section addresses the punishment for sending phishing or related information with the intent to cause harm. 

Section 66 C

This section punishes anyone who fraudulently uses personal information to commit identity theft. 

Section 66

Anyone who cheats by pretending to be someone else faces a minimum of three years in prison and a fine of one lakh rupees.

Section 66A

This Section deals with punishing those who commit phishing. 

Section 43

A person is found guilty of violating this section if he or she uses another person’s computer or computer network without the owner’s permission, disturbs, downloads, or assists another person. 

Sections 415, 425, 463, and 107, in addition to this one, are applicable to spear phishing. The Information Technology Act of 2000 makes spear-phishing a criminal offense.

How To Protect Against Spear Phishing?

  • Learn and follow advanced password management policies. 
  • Setting up two-factor authentication for your primary account 
  • Create a security-conscious environment in your organization. 
  • Maintain software updates. 
  • Everyone’s access to sensitive information should be restricted. 
  • Create spear phishing, social manipulation, and cyber security awareness programmes. 
  • Results should be monitored and measured. 
  • Educate students and employees about the dangers of phishing attempts.

Spear phishing is designed in such a clever and well-planned manner that it is extremely difficult to detect using traditional security measures. Spear phishing attacks are dangerous because they can spread malware to computers in large networks. 

Employees must be informed of such threats in order to avoid such lethal attacks. There is also a need to upgrade technology, with an emphasis on email security.