What is a phishing virus, and how does it work?
In a phishing attack, a phishing virus is a type of malware that is installed on a user’s computer. Phishing is a type of cybercrime in which attackers impersonate a trusted or legitimate company in order to trick a person into sharing sensitive information like bank account numbers, credit card numbers, login credentials, and other personal information, as well as downloading a phishing virus onto their computer.
What is the mechanism of a phishing virus?
Attackers typically infect a user’s computer with a phishing virus by sending an email that appears to come from someone the victim knows and trusts. The email may indicate that there is an issue with or suspicious behavior on the user’s account, that a password must be reset or an account validated, that a payment must be paid, or that the recipient must act immediately to avoid bad repercussions or take advantage of an opportunity. The email asks the recipient to open an attachment or click on a link that brings them to a spoof website, where they may be prompted to provide sensitive information. Once downloaded, the phishing virus may install ransomware, launch attacks on other computers, or allow the attacker access to the user’s network data.
How can you tell whether you’re being targeted by a phishing virus?
There are several indicators that an email is being used in a phishing scam to gather information or download a phishing virus. One or more of the following indicators are likely to appear in a phishing email:
- A request for confidential data such as passwords, account numbers, and personally identifiable information.
- The sender’s email address does not match the domain of the company from which the email purports to be sent.
- Misspellings, grammatical errors, and strange language choices are all examples of poor spelling and grammar.
- A threat of negative consequences or a seemingly too good-to-be-true deal.
- An urgent, threatening, or persistent tone with language aimed to elicit a speedy response from the recipient.
- Attachments to the email that appear to be suspicious, such as an unexpected document or an invoice that appears to be a mistake.
- Hyperlinks that, upon closer examination, would lead the receiver to a website other from the one indicated in the email’s body.
How can you stop a phishing attack?
A multi-layered approach to security is effective for preventing a phishing virus from infecting a user’s PC.
- Users are taught how to recognise phishing virus emails and other risks, as well as what to do if they come across one.
- Advanced email scanning and filtering technologies can prevent users from opening attachments or clicking on links that are deemed hazardous. This technology can also check for indicators within an email that could indicate a fraudulent impersonation and ban or quarantine it for further investigation.
- At the secure email gateway, strong anti-spam and anti-malware protection can stop many phishing virus emails.
- SPF, DKIM, and DMARC-based DNS authentication services are particularly successful at preventing phishing virus emails from entering an organization’s system.
What is the best way to get rid of a phishing virus?
If you suspect your computer has been infected with a phishing virus, follow these instructions.
- To prevent the infection from spreading, disconnect the computer from the Internet and your internal network.
- Contact your IT department and supervisor as soon as possible; they can assist in limiting the damage.
- Make sure your PC is free of malware and viruses.
- Change the login credentials for any essential accounts where the attackers may have gained access.
- Report the phishing attack to government agencies working to stop phishing virus attacks such as the Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov/complaint), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (www.antiphishing.org/report-phishing).