Identify a Phishing Message in Five Steps - Slide 3

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One predominant objective of hackers entails the loading of malware or Trojans onto their target's PC. Given that executable files are typically blocked in email attachments these days, black hats have evolved their techniques to either trick their victims into downloading the malware over the Internet, or directing them to visit a specially crafted website loaded with a browser exploit. To protect yourself from such scenarios, you should almost never click on a URL link unless it is from a reputable site, and even so you should usually type in the URL manually.

From the network breach at RSA to theft of intellectual property in Operation Aurora, it is no secret that some of the most visible hacking involves the use of spear phishing. A targeted form of phishing that is custom-made for a specific organization, a spear phishing email message seeks to elicit a desired action that could result in a Trojan being loaded, or the unintended leaking of confidential or privileged data.

As Paul Mah has written in the past, defending against spear phishing is a challenging task that mandates some amount of user training. To assist organizations on this front, Paul has come up with a simple checklist to help identify a potential phishing message.

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