As cyber threats continue to grow and cause more problems to organizations across the globe, a pressing question on the minds of many IT professionals is ‘What is URL phishing?’ Cyber threats can be designed to steal intellectual property or damage reputations. Using sophisticated procedures that are continually evolving, hackers have become even savvier at tricking victims into clicking on links or downloading files that contain malicious software scripts that will capture sensitive data or launch a malware attack. How does URL phishing work and what are the dangers to look out for? We’ll explain in the article below.
Simply put, a phishing attack is an attempt to attain sensitive information like usernames, passwords, financial information, and more. Often, a hacker will use a phishing website in order to capture these details. Phishing is one of the most common types of attacks today and one of the most effective. Hackers can easily gain entry into accounts, steal sensitive information, and scam businesses or individuals.
A recent example of a URL phishing attack made significant damage in October, disguised as the University of Berkley. Emails were sent to users designed to build trust and rapport via greetings or job posting announcements. The emails were designed to try and trick users into entering sensitive information by clicking on a malicious URL.
An extremely common type of URL phishing email is one that spoofs a reputable service provider – say a hosting or email account and claims that ‘irregular activity’ has been noticed. It then requests that the user login to validate the unusual activity, however, the external link that it directs users to is malicious.
The most important tip that people should remember is that any credible organization or agency will not ask for sensitive information via email. If it seems suspicious, it probably is.
There are a few tricks that can be used to help determine if a website is legitimate or not.
First, look at the URL. Make sure that the site is secured with a padlock symbol at the beginning of the URL, which means it has a valid SSL certificate. Next, carefully look at the spelling of the URL. Often, hackers will pick a well-known URL or business name and make a minor alteration to the spelling to trick users into thinking that it is an official site. Also, look at the content on the site. Most large and credible organizations will have invested a substantial amount of money into developing their corporate website and it will appear professional, easy to navigate, and have a well-written copy. Hacker websites on the other hand will often appear bland, only use stock photos, have a poor design, and often contain grammatical errors or bad English.
One of the best ways to help prevent your organization from falling victim to cyber scams is by working with a Managed Service provider like MBC. Our team of cybersecurity experts is well informed of emerging new threats and phishing techniques. We also provide easy to understand training for all staff members so that they are aware of how to spot phishing emails and what steps to take if they think that they have received a suspicious email.
We also ensure that your company is projected with an integrated network security platform that utilizes advanced security features to analyze behaviour, web content, and applications to protect your network from cyber-attacks.
To learn more about how MBC can help protect your organization from URL phishing and other cyber threats, get a free assessment today.