Spear Phishing

First you had Spear Phishing - image by Kevin FrankPhat, then you had Phishing and now Spear Phishing.

Spear Phishing is an email fraud attempt that uses information in a targeted way to trick you into giving them money or trade secrets.

It is important that you know how much about yourself is on the web. This type of fraud usually happens when someone claims to know you through some social event, when they have really only read about it on your Facebook page or other social site.

This type of phishing can also happen when a person emails the victim claiming to be from their own company and wanting log in details.  They can only do this by learning about specific details of your company and who you may answer to.  So if you think that this information is readily found on the internet, be careful who you give out information to.  It could be a phishing scam.

For the definitions of all things web, go to Webopedia.



Be afraid, be very afraid

I have noticed that there is a lot of interest in the sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and it grows even bigger. I find it funny that even though I am computer savvy and enjoy my work, I can’t drum up any interest it these social networking sites. It’s hard to get excited with the idea that people you left behind in high school can now look you up and revisit your past. I have friends that are addicted to their Facebook pages to the detriment of the relationships in the here and now.

But the other thing I worry about is privacy. Especially since I appear to have a stalker. It’s a bit sad, but this person seems to search the web looking for items about me. I’m not particularly interesting, nor am I famous, but it is scary to know that someone can find out information about you that you have thought was fairly private and safe.

And I am glad that I don’t subscribe to Facebook, or Twitter to people about the boring details of my day. And if I want to find out what my friends are doing, I call them up and ask them!

That doesn’t mean I don’t like the technology that we have to keep in touch. Far from it. We are able to talk often to our relatives in Scotland and London easily and it is just like the cartoon family the Jetsons portrayed that we can view them smiling at the same time!

Just remember that everything you write on Facebook and sites that are similar are read by more people than you think. Students going for jobs have their sites looked at by more than their friends; a young man who was about to be sentenced and was portrayed as full of remorse for his drunk driving was pictured on his page, drunk and partying with his friends just prior to being sentenced! No remorse shown there, but who would have thought that a prosecutor would have been looking at that page!

Two weeks after Joshua Lipton was charged in a drunk driving case, the college junior attended a Halloween party dressed as a prisoner, with the words ‘jail bird’ on his costume. Not surprisingly, his prosecutor was able to obtain photos of him at the party that were posted on Facebook, and claimed he was an ‘unrepentant partier who lived it up while his victim recovered in the hospital.’ The photos were presented in a slideshow, with one of them showing Lipton holding a can of Red Bull in one hand, and an arm draped around a girl bearing sorority letters. The judge agreed with the prosecutor, and changed Lipton’s sentence to two years in prison. The article also cites other instances of people getting harsher sentences from pictures of them posted online.

So apart from behaving yourself, which is always a good idea, it is best not to leave a trail of things you would rather people not know about you. It takes a long time for that information to disappear even after you have deleted it.

It is also likely a good idea to change your passwords on accounts you have such as email, banking etc. as well as being careful what you write in blogs such as this, and the social networking pages. You never know who is reading or looking over your shoulder.

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter