ITC Security Threat of the Week – Week 13: Phishing Campaigns that Target World Events

Phishing campaigns account for the majority of online fraud that happens each and every year. This trend will only continue to grow contributed to by a new tactic employed by fraudsters in which they prey on world events. Recent horrific events in America have spotlighted a growing problem in which people are tricked out of their money due to malicious emailing. However there are signs to look out for so that you don’t fall victim to phishing.

There are different forms of phishing attacks but they all have the same goal, to steal either data or money. One of the most common forms of this attack is the use of fake emails which are sent to people in the hope of them revealing private information or clicking links. Hackers tend to masquerade behind popular brands so will pretend to be Facebook or PayPal for example. The email will include some sort of hook to entice users into clicking a link or entering sensitive information. If a link is involved, the user will then be taken to a website that will download malware onto the person’s computer.

A new twist on phishing involves current world events and using them to target even more people. The recent tragic events in the US lead to hackers sending out emails in which users believe they can find out information by clicking a malicious link. Another technique involves charitable donations, as people will be urged to donate money to a specific cause but the money will actually go straight to the hacker.

There are ways to avoid falling victim to these type of attacks and fortunately they’re relatively simple. Phishing emails are usually easy to spot because they will use links that are not congruent with the brands they are misrepresenting, it is also wise to check the email for spelling mistakes. Furthermore, high profile companies will never ask for personal information via email, if this needs to be done it can happen through the official websites.

ITC Secure Networking can provide infrastructure and security management to prevent phishing through the identification of rogue sites and the automatic barring of traffic to those sites together with advanced reporting and forensics to minimise and quantify any damage or loss from phishing campaigns.

ITC can also advise on user awareness campaigns in order to prevent Phishing forms being opened or completed by users, an all too common occurrence. To learn more about ITC’s products and services visit or call 0207517 3900