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Spear-Phishing Phenomenon

Spear-Phishing Phenomenon


Scammers posing as company executives are on the rise.


Phishers are increasingly posing as company executives and other high-ranking individuals in an effort to steal passwords and other sensitive information from surfers in a phenomenon dubbed spear phishing.

The online security service MessageLabs revelaed in June that the tactic has been on the rise and this increase shows no sign of abatement.

The scams are sent by phishers to employees at companies and appear to come from their CEO or other high ranking officials. The trend is part of a wider increase in more specific and more corporate targeted phishing attacks reported by MillerSmiles News in recent weeks.

Once employees have been tricked into revealing the necessary data the scammers can install backdoor software and other malware/spyware onto the company's PCs and potentially steal secretive company held data.

Dave Jevans Chairman of the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) recommends employee education as the best way to counter these threats and warns spear phishing will remain a threat until email verification technology is improved.

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