Phishing – Cyber Crime

Phishing is the oldest form of cyber crime and the most prevalent.  Phishing techniques are becoming increasingly sophisticated and other than email and website phishing, there’s also ‘vishing’ (voice phishing), ‘smishing’ (SMS Phishing) and several other phishing techniques, which cybercriminals are constantly coming up with.

Trillions of dollars are lost every year to phishing attacks, and the number seems to grow with the years. Financial pre-texting and phishing represent 98 percent of social incidents and 93 percent of all breaches investigated,” says Securitymagazine.com. Most phishing attacks can be traced back to a carelessly-opened email, malicious sms link, or other employee voice based telephone mishap.

A phishing cyber crime attack can have devastating impact on its victim, be it an individual or an organization.  For unsuspecting individual, it can translate into funds being stolen, identity being compromised and purchases by the attacker which have not been authorized.

In the larger scale of things, more often than not, though, the cyber criminals launching phishing attacks aim to steal or compromise data for ransom ware and the consequences on the company can be disastrous. An organization which is hit by a phishing attack  and has lost sensitive data, sustains severe financial setback in addition to a tarnishing of its brand reputation, loss of market, and consumer trust which has been painstakingly been built over years.

 Depending on the scope of the attack, a phishing attempt might escalate into a security incident from which the organization will have a difficult time recovering. The perception of the brand may get impacted negatively, losing credibility with employees, partners, and customers. The brand is the anchor and foundation of the organization’s market standing. A phishing attack’s effects on can sabotage hundreds of millions in market capitalization apart from loss of client goodwill. It is therefore of crucial importance to seek the advice of a capable cyber law firm with a track record of handling such cyber crime cases, at the earliest to minimize the damages and begin the road to recovery.

What is phishing?

Phishing is a social engineering cyber attack in which the attacker masquerades as a trusted person, banking entity or legitimate institution, through email sms or voice call. The goal of the perpetrators is to trick the recipient into believing that the message is something they want or need — a request from their bank, a note from someone in their company — which motivate them  to click a link or download an attachment, or provide information over voice protocol.

This way, the victim is duped into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, passwords or company information, which can lead to the installation of malware, the freezing of the system as part of a ransom ware attack or the reveal sensitive information.

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