Spear Phishing: A new cybercrime is fleecing companies and institutions of millions of rands. It is known as “spear phishing” or “whaling attacks”. Banks and forensic auditors have noted a marked increase in the number of incidents of such fraud over the past few months. According to forensic investigator Jacques van Heerden, spear phishing targets executives of blue-chip companies, parastatals and banks, often using their e-mail addresses. Often, explained Van Heerden, the attack could take the form of an e-mailed invoice within which malware – malicious software – was hidden.
Last week the SA Bank Risk Information Centre, the banking sector’s security body, warned of an increase in whaling attacks with the launch of its #Skelm awareness campaign. In South Africa, 52% of respondents had noted increases “in attacks designed to instigate fraudulent payments” and 39% of those surveyed had experienced attacks that asked for confidential data, such as human resources records and tax information. If you receive an email first look who the sender is and if the email address doesnt look right do not open or respond to it delete it straight away. According to Sabric, widespread internet connectivity has made South Africa a preferred target for cyber criminals.