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Phishing Attacks and its Consequences


In the realm of cybersecurity, phishing remains a prevalent threat, with threat actors employing various tactics to exploit individuals and organizations alike. Once you’ve fallen victim to a phishing attack, the repercussions can vary significantly based on the attacker’s objectives and target demographics. Our cyber security experts share their knowledge in this article educating you on what happens after you’ve been phished.

Individual Targets of Phishing Attacks

When targeted as an individual, the aftermath of a phishing attack can be deeply personal. Attackers aim to acquire sensitive information such as credit card details, bank account credentials, and identity documents like passports or ID cards. This stolen information often finds its way to underground markets, where it’s auctioned off to the highest bidder. Consequently, victims face not only financial risks but also the potential for identity theft and fraud.

Corporate Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks against corporations can be quick and dirty where the attacker simply exfiltrates the emails in the victims mailbox, with automation the exfiltration can happen seconds after the victim provided the account details. Attackers may swiftly exfiltrate emails from compromised mailboxes, leveraging automation to carry out their schemes within seconds of obtaining login credentials.

Slow and Methodical Intrusions

Alternatively, corporate phishing attacks may adopt a slow and methodical approach, allowing attackers to establish long-term access while avoiding detection. By setting up email inbox rules to conceal their activities, attackers can manipulate communications and deceive unsuspecting employees. This tactic involves redirecting replies from concerned coworkers to archive folders, ensuring that victims remain unaware to the ongoing compromise of their accounts. Some frameworks automatically send malware to email accounts that the compromised account often interacts with. This is done in the hope of “upgrading” access from the account to computer control. By sending to the contacts that the victim often interacts with the attacker hopes the receiver is less suspicious since it is not a mail out of the blue from an unfamiliar coworker.

The Trade of Corporate Compromises

Moreover, successful corporate phishing attacks are not merely isolated incidents, but services traded within illicit networks. Specialized groups capitalize on initial access to compromised accounts, selling this valuable information to entities seeking to exploit corporate vulnerabilities. From data theft to the deployment of malicious software, these exploits pose significant threats to organizational security and integrity.

4 steps – How to protect your organization from phishing attacks

  • Train your coworkers and yourself in how to identify phishing sites. . If something looks suspicious on the site, don’t log in! It may be an expensive experience. By educating employees about the risks and how to identify phishing attempts, many attacks can be stopped before they even begin.
  • Prepare your organization by having cybersecurity exercises. Think of it as rehearsal – the more you practice, the better you’ll handle the real attack when it comes. As with fire drills, you need to know what to do when an emergency occurs.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) . But note that the default configuration of MFA can be abused so review the settings to verify sufficiently short time to live sessions and only allow trusted devices to enrol.
  • Have a Incident Response Team ready. Regardless how well we prepare, or how robust we build our defences, the question is not if an incident will occur, but when it will occur. NTT Security’s Incident Response Team is available 24/7, every day of the year. Call us: +46 8 30 69 07 for immediate assistance when you need it.

Are you unsure if your business is safe and protected from cybercriminals? Let’s talk. 

By taking proactive measures and remaining vigilant, we can collectively defend against cyber threats and safeguard sensitive data from exploitation. Let’s prioritize cybersecurity and work together to ensure a safer digital environment for all. Fill in the form and we’ll contact you.