Considered a gateway to a larger "blended attack," social engineering is becoming more creative and targeted in nature. In a phishing attack, users will generally be enticed with an alluring e-mail subject line, often touting a fake breaking news headline or a celebrity video. Once the e-mail is opened, the user is treated to a brief message, and encouraged to click on a malicious link embedded in the message claiming to lead to another Web site or video. Instead, the link often links to an infected Web page, which installs malware on the unsuspecting user's computer. Social engineering has become so sophisticated, that attackers have begun to design e-mails specific to targeted individuals—usually executives and others with access to sensitive information—in what is known as a spear phishing attack.
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