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Recently, The Safegard Group was the target of a simple but effective phishing attack. The phishing attack was not successful and no client, partner or employee information was compromised but we want to share this information with everyone to help protect yourself, friends, family, employees, co-workers… anyone.
What is a Phishing Attack?
The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) defines phishing as an attempt by an individual or group to solicit personal information from unsuspecting users by employing social engineering techniques. Phishing emails are crafted to appear as if they have been sent from a legitimate organization or known individual. These emails often attempt to entice users to click on a link that will take the user to a fraudulent website that appears legitimate. The user then may be asked to provide personal information, such as account usernames and passwords, that can further expose them to future compromises. Additionally, these fraudulent websites may contain malicious code.
You’ll notice in the first iPhone screenshot, below it is an email I received and initially only saw on my iPhone that appears to be from Bill Calderaro, Safegard’s President. At first glance, it appears legitimate and I’d be likely to reply quickly to find out what needs to be done. But upon further inspection (by tapping his name), I can see in the second screenshot I’d be replying to an @comcast.net email address that does not belong to Bill Calderaro.
I’ve received emails like this before too and the first time it happened it took me much longer to realize it because I didn’t see the actual email address until I looked at the email in Outlook. If you receive an email from someone like this make sure you’re checking the actual email address before replying, I would recommend always checking the email address if the email doesn’t have the sender’s typical signature at the bottom of the email.
If you’re concerned about phishing attacks in your business, feel free to contact The Safegard Group to find out how we can help protect you.