NEW YORK, March 29, 2023 (Newswire.com)
Mimecast: While the term “phishing” has been around since the mid-90s, a relatively new version of phishing is beginning to take hold in the world of social media called “Angler Phishing.”
This attack takes advantage of social media users with false promises and malicious links. It’s crucial for all social media users to understand what angler phishing is and how to protect themselves from it.
Let’s take a look at what this new threat is, how it works, and how social media users can keep themselves safe:
What Is Angler Phishing?
Angler phishing is an online scam in which cybercriminals use deception to convince people to provide personal information or money.
Unlike traditional phishing attacks involving emails with malicious links or attachments, angler phishers use social media platforms to target victims.
The attackers often create fake profiles that appear legitimate to gain the trust of their victims and then send messages containing links to malicious websites or apps that can steal personal information.
How Does It Work?
When someone clicks on the link provided by the scammer in an angler phishing attack, they are taken to what appears to be a legitimate site — but it actually contains malware.
The user then unknowingly downloads malicious software onto their system, which gives the attacker access to their personal information, such as usernames and passwords, that can lead to further damage if not acted upon quickly.
Spotting an Angler Phishing Attack
Spotting an angler phishing attack can be difficult due to its deceptive and targeted nature.
However, there are some key signs users should look out for when browsing social media sites:
- Unusual requests — If someone unknown contacts a user online with an unusual request or offers something too good to be true, it could be an angler phishing attack.
- Urgent pleas — If someone reaches out to a seemingly random user asking for help urgently by clicking on a link without providing any context or details about why they need help, this could also indicate an angler phishing attack.
- Misspelled words/odd grammar — Scammers often use poor grammar and misspellings in their messages to slip past filters. This may be a tell-tale sign of a phishing attack.
- Links leading elsewhere — Links from trusted sources should always lead directly to that source’s website (not elsewhere). If users spot any links leading away from where they should go, they shouldn’t click further.
Protecting Against an Angler Phishing
The best way to protect against angler phishing attacks is by taking preventive steps before one even occurs.
Here are some tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of angler phishing attacks:
- Users should be wary of suspicious messages — Be extra cautious when dealing with unsolicited messages containing links or attachments.
- Enable security settings — Users should ensure that their security settings are up to date so that personal information remains secure.
- Check URLs carefully — Double-check URLs before submitting any information online.
- Install antivirus software — Investing in antivirus software can help protect against potential threats like viruses and malware.
- Report suspicious activity — Report any suspicious activity promptly so others don’t fall victim, too.
Angler phishing is one of the newest and most dangerous threats to social media users and their personal information. Users should remain mindful of keeping their data secure when browsing social media.
Suspiciously good deals that require too much personal information from unfamiliar strangers or companies are often phishing scams.
The key takeaway is that by learning about angler phishing, users can prevent cybercriminals from accessing their accounts or data.
Mimecast is the company solving the top cyberattack vector — email. We deliver relentless protection for tens of thousands of customers around the globe; always putting them first, and never giving up on tackling their biggest security challenges.