This blog post is not from a Nigerian lawyer.

Neither, anymore, are the most effective phishing attacks.

In 2016, a time in which the classic Nigerian email scam has long since passed to the meme wing of the IT humor museum, phishing attacks have soared. According to the Anti-Phishing Work Group, phishing websites were up 61 percent, quarter over quarter, in the most recent 2016 data.

That increase is notable particularly because the previous quarter also marked a new record high.

Phishing hasn’t gone away. Rather, to borrow from the words of a famous shark hunter, it’s simply gotten a bigger boat.

As phishing attempts have become more effective at ensnaring their prey, the channels they use have also expanded. There’s Smishing (e.g., SMS, that is, text messaging, phishing), Vishing (voice phishing, a social engineering standard taken a few steps up the evolutionary threat ladder), social media phishing and many targeted variants. As online footprints have exploded in the age of social media, so have the attack vectors.

The targets can be ambitious (donors to the Clinton Foundation, for example) and as the value of the target increases, so too does the attack sophistication.

At NJVC, we constantly defend intelligence and defense customers from attacks, but it’s not just classified information that’s a target. It's everyone

To understand the modern threat landscape, and why it’s so much more than obvious emails, check out the infographic below, created by Digital Guardian for Cyber Security Awareness Month. (For more from Digital Guardian, check out their blog.)

 

How to Recognize and Avoid Phishing Attacks Infographic

Infographic by Digital Guardian