Social engineering is basically hacking a human. Hackers will prey on the people within your business to gather data and information to use against you. There are many types of social engineering attacks, these include email, fishing attacks, and many more. Today we will go over some of the most common types of engineering attacks performed by hackers who attack small businesses. In this article he will also learn how to prevent these types of attacks and how to spot this type if issue is it occurs within your business.
Social engineering attacks have been going on for centuries even before the internet and computers were a thing one of the most famous types of these set attacks can be example of the Trojan Horse. But, let’s move on to more modern times that we live in today. Social engineering attacks occur when people organization divulge information to attackers.
The hackers will then use that information against you in order to affect your systems, ransom your data, or steal your protected information.
Not only do they utilize technology but they also use techniques that are psychological in nature. Frequently banking on quick reactions of set an organization to act based upon fear or authority.
Types of attacks.
Let’s go over some of the most common ones which hackers use.
A phishing attack is a type of attack where the hacker tries to obtain the users information. This is usually done via electronic communication such as email. The data that a phishing attack works on Gathering is sensitive information frequently pertaining to passwords, private information, and usernames. Trader will mask themselves as a trustworthy source whilst requesting information of a sensitive nature.
Spear phishing attacks
Another type of social engineering attack a spear phishing attack. This type of attack occurs when the hacker already has some information about you, meaning a more targeted attack. However the goal is the same thing, gather your information in order to use it a potential scam in the future. These targeted types of attacks are extremely dangerous and threatening to business owners. As all it takes is one person to click one email and divulge information to a seemingly trusted source. Cybercriminals spend massive amounts of time creating avenues to reach people and to scam them. They will create elaborate scams are trustworthy in appearance just to gather some simple data that they can use against you.
A spear phishing attack is different from a phishing attack based on targeting. A classic phishing attack will Target hundreds if not thousands of users at one time, but a spear phishing attack knows their victim knows what they do and what they look like online so these attacks are harder to prevent.
Voice phishing attack Vishing
This is a phishing attack done via voice telephone. A perpetrator will make a call to you pretending to be somebody they are not a company that you already use. They will then try and gather your personal information. Once this type of information is gathered it is then stored and prepared for a more elaborate attack or scheme or scam.
When these types of attacks are performed in businesses they’re usually highly targeted and involve multiple persons who will Target a single individual. Main access to very sensitive information that could cause a business to close
Smishing SMS attacks
SMS or text message phishing attacks are attacks where the perpetrator tries to gather data through compelling you divulge information via text message.
Differently send out a mass text messages to various groups of individuals often with the promise of a gift Ada code and more. These types of text messages will steal your information to use it against you later.
When do these attacks happen?
Attackers will frequently take advantage of social situations to exploit your business. These often occur during times when a natural disaster has hit, they may pose as a charity. During elections, a hacker may attempt to reach you while acting as a candidate reaching out to you via text or email. Epidemics and pandemics are a time when hackers may try to stack your business or staff, by faking emails and information relating to the concern of the time. Holidays are a time for invitations to events and criminals will try to capitalize on these events as well. Cyber criminals do what they can to exploit your business and steal your information for their gain. Even though major events are a prime time for hackers to strike, the truth is that hurting you is their job and they will try to seize any opportunity they have to attack. This means you must always stay protected , and keep your staff trained.
How to spot an attempt of social engineering?
Strange emails- A attacker will frequently try and mimic a legitimate email address, but it will not be spot on. The address may be completely off or have a few characters off to appear similar. This is something that can be confusing but making sure you pay attention to the sender email address helps you stay protected.
Attachments- Long story short, if you don’t know the sender and you get a strange email requesting you to open an attachment, don’t do it! Hackers can add malicious code to gather your data or infect your systems. No matter how urgent the message may seem, it is probably best to be cautious as the results can lead to disaster.
Generic- Specifically related to terms like “dear valued client” or “dear madam/sir” are classic greetings of hackers who have no information about you but are trying to get some data about you. Please be cautious of these types of generic greetings. Especially if you are not certain of the sender address, this is a huge red flag. Trusted businesses will also have a signature with legitimate contact information, a way you can reach them. A suspicious organization will not share this information.
Spelling mistakes- legitimate organizations will not send you rushed emails with poor grammar and spelling mistakes. This is something that hackers are notorious for, and an easy way for you to spot them. The IRS does not send rushed emails requesting your personal data. This is something important to pay attention to as it is a red flag.
Fake websites- Hackers will create entire fake websites and slightly change the url or web address to try and convince you to log in with your personal credentials. Frequently there will be a variance within the address or in the ending, so rather than .com it would appear as a .net or .biz ending. This is important to pay attention to!
These are some of the red flags you can notice to prevent these types of attacks. This also relates to phone calls you may receive, or even text messages you get on your personal cell phone. Always practice caution and double check if you are concerned. It is better to be safe than sorry.
HOW TO AVOID AN ATTACK?
- Be suspicious, do not take information at face value do your research and double check. Be it a phone call claiming to be a higher up or a organization claiming to work with your company, take the extra step and verify before divulging sensitive information to anyone.
- Have a strong security policy within your organization and train your team on how to spot these scams.
- If you get a strange email verify it with the sender using their official website not the link within the email.
- Have a powerful security solution set up within your company, this includes an IT team or MSP, firewalls, and anti-virus solutions in place.
- Do not open attachments you do not trust.
- Do not share your personal data online
IF YOU ARE A VICTIM:
If you think your data has been compromised immediately each out to the appropriate members within your organization and notify them of the instance. They will be able ti stat working on this right away. If you ae not working with anyone contact a local IT provider who can assist you in the remediation.
If it is your banking information you need to contact your financial institution right away and report the issue.
Change your passwords right away and contact those who can help you to solve the issue and prevent it from getting worse.
Having a strong IT team will help mitigate these types of issues, and will in most cases prevent them from happening or at least ease the harm caused by a attack.
If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us at 4Leet in Santa Fe, we are happy to help.