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10 Dangerous Phishing Attack Trends To Know About In 2021

From brand impersonation and business email compromise to initial access brokers and the misuse of automated email alert templates, here are the most alarming phishing attack trends seen by the industry.

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Enter Through Side Door With Malicious Texts

Consumers aren’t as familiar with how to identify a phishing attempt in a text message, and scammers have taken advantage of that blind spot to target consumers with “smishing,” according to Darren Shou, NortonLifeLock’s chief technology officer. Banking, telecom and packages tend to be common categories for smishing, with FluBot hackers urging potential targets to click on a link to track a shipment, he said.

The link takes unsuspecting victims to a landing page where FluBot presents itself as a local delivery company, Shou said. Roughly 10,000 messages are sent each and every week to spread FluBot, and victims who fall for the social engineering trick end up getting malware downloaded onto their devices, according to Shou.

Threat actors can catch consumers off guard by coming at them from a different angle, with people more likely to fall for a text message purportedly from their bank that’s requesting a refund since SMS messages aren’t seen as an attack vector, Shou said. Not every mobile device or security product protects against side door smishing attacks, but adversaries are always looking for the path of least resistance.

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