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Email Phishing Protection

Phishing is when attackers send malicious emails designed to trick people into falling for a scam. Typically, the intent is to get users to reveal financial information, system credentials or other sensitive data.

Phishing is an example of social engineering: a collection of techniques that scam artists use to manipulate human psychology. Social engineering techniques include forgery, misdirection and lying—all of which can play a part in phishing attacks. On a basic level, phishing emails use social engineering to encourage users to act without thinking things through.

Proofpoint provides you with unmatched visibility into the threat landscape. Combined with our leading behavior change and automated detection and remediation capabilities, phishing has met its match. It’s why Proofpoint is the No. 1 deployed email security solution for Fortune 100, Fortune 1000, and Global 2000 companies.

Types of Phishing Attacks

  • Email phishing: the general term given to any malicious email message meant to trick users into divulging private information. Attackers generally aim to steal account credentials, personally identifiable information (PII) and corporate trade secrets. However, attackers targeting a specific business might have other motives.
  • Spear phishing: these email messages are sent to specific people within an organization, usually high-privilege account holders, to trick them into divulging sensitive data, sending the attacker money or downloading malware.
  • Link manipulation: messages contain a link to a malicious site that looks like the official business but takes recipients to an attacker-controlled server where they are persuaded to authenticate into a spoofed login page that sends credentials to an attacker.
  • Whaling (CEO fraud): these messages are typically sent to high-profile employees of a company to trick them into believing the CEO or other executive has requested to transfer money. CEO fraud falls under the umbrella of phishing, but instead of an attacker spoofing a popular website, they spoof the CEO of the targeted corporation.
  • Content injection: an attacker who can inject malicious content into an official site will trick users into accessing the site to show them a malicious popup or redirect them to a phishing website.
  • Malware: users tricked into clicking a link or opening an attachment might download malware onto their devices. Ransomware, rootkits or keyloggers are common malware attachments that steal data and extort payments from targeted victims.
  • Smishing: using SMS messages, attackers trick users into accessing malicious sites from their smartphones. Attackers send a text message to a targeted victim with a malicious link that promises discounts, rewards or free prizes.
  • Vishing: attackers use voice-changing software to leave a message telling targeted victims that they must call a number where they can be scammed. Voice changers are also used when speaking with targeted victims to disguise an attacker’s accent or gender so that they can pretend to be a fraudulent person.
  • “Evil Twin” Wi-Fi: spoofing free Wi-Fi, attackers trick users into connecting to a malicious hotspot to perform man-in-the-middle exploits.
  • Pharming: pharming is a two-phase attack used to steal account credentials. The first phase installs malware on a targeted victim and redirects them to a browser and a spoofed website where they are tricked into divulging credentials. DNS poisoning is also used to redirect users to spoofed domains.
  • Angler phishing: using social media, attackers reply to posts pretending to be an official organization and trick users into divulging account credentials and personal information.
  • Watering hole: a compromised site provides endless opportunities, so an attacker identifies a site used by numerous targeted users, exploits a vulnerability on the site, and uses it to trick users into downloading malware. With malware installed on targeted user machines, an attacker can redirect users to spoofed websites or deliver a payload to the local network to steal data.
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