Phishers Targeting Human Behavior

Hackers are using phishing to trick web users into handing over their sensitive data. Internet surfers are shown with a baited hook, which draws them into handing over login names, passwords, security keys and other important data.

The tactic can be used by hackers with little to no hacking skill, luring users to a malware-ridden website to make a payment. There are many would-be criminals looking to make a quick buck, and since the campaigns can be so successful, online thieves and criminals are increasingly implementing this technique to make money.

Many Internet criminals use phishing in random campaigns sent through email. There is little skill required. It is just a numbers game. If enough emails are shared, sooner or later someone will answer and fall for the bait. However, we are now seeing much more complex campaigns launched.

It used to be easy to see a phishing email. They have lots of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Images were used that were clearly not genuine, and the emails would only fool the most unsuspecting computer user. They gathered victims, nonetheless, but only a few.

Some of the phishing emails now being sent are very realistic hard to identify. Even well trained, security-conscious IT professionals have been tricked by some of the scams. The reason? They work by exploiting traits in human behavior and use techniques that are very good at drawing the required response.

Human Traits Successfully Being Focused on by Hackers

Cyber criminals are aiming for human behavior to get users to visit links to malicious websites or open attachments. They depend on common traits that nearly always get the desired response. The male of the species, for example, is easily tricked into opening an apparent JPEG file if he is promised a glimpse of naked girl or an offer of sex from an unknown admirer.

By targeting human traits and evoking emotions, recipients of these scam and spam emails are tricked successfully.


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Elizabeth Hernandez

Elizabeth Hernandez is a news writer on Defensorum. Elizabeth is an experienced journalist who has worked on many publications for several years. Elizabeth writers about compliance and the related areas of IT security breaches. Elizabeth's has focus on data privacy and secure handling of personal information. Elizabeth has a postgraduate degree in journalism. Elizabeth Hernandez is the editor of HIPAAZone.