What is Vishing | process and How it works
Vishing is a portmanteau that combines the words "voice" and "phishing," and it refers to attacks that are carried out over the phone. They are categorised as a form of social engineering attack because they make use of psychological techniques to coerce victims into providing sensitive information or carrying out some action on the attacker's behalf.
The Process Behind Vishing
Utilizing one's position of power is a typical strategy. For instance, the attacker may pose as a representative from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), claiming to be on the line to collect past-due taxes. It is possible for victims to comply with their attacker's demands out of fear of being arrested. These kinds of assaults also often include the use of gift cards as a method of payment, and they cost victims a total of $124 million in 2020 in the United States alone.
What's the Difference Between Vishing and Phishing, and Why Should You Care?
The primary distinction between vishing and phishing is the communication channel via which the assaults are carried out. Vishing and phishing are both forms of social engineering attacks and make use of many of the same strategies.
As was just discussed, vishing is a kind of phishing that takes place over the phone. The perpetrator of the assault will phone the victim, or they will find a way to fool the victim into calling them, and then they will try to verbally coerce the victim into doing something. Phishers, on the other hand, carry out their assaults via the use of electronic means of communication that are mostly text-based. Even though email is the most typical and well-known form of phishing, cybercriminals can also conduct their attacks via corporate communications apps (such as Slack and Microsoft Teams), messaging apps (such as Telegram, Signal, and WhatsApp), and social media platforms (such as Facebook and Instagram). This form of communication is referred to as "smishing."
Different kinds of phishing scams
Similar to phishing, vishing attacks may take many different forms. The following are examples of some of the most typical pretexts used in vishing:
Account Issue A visher may pretend to be from a bank or another service provider and state that there is an issue with a customer's account in order to steal their personal and financial information. After that, they will inquire for personal particulars in order to "check the customer's identification."
An attacker may conduct a vishing attack while posing as a representative of a government agency, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the Social Security Administration (SSA), for example (SSA). In most cases, the goal of these assaults is to get private information from the victim or to deceive the victim into giving money to the person who launched the attack.
Tech Support Social engineers may pose as employees of major and well-known organisations such as Microsoft or Google in order to trick unsuspecting customers. Malware will be installed on the victim's computer or browser while the attackers pretend to assist solve a problem on the victim's computer or browser.
How to Protect Yourself from Phishing Attacks
User awareness is crucial for the prevention and defence against social engineering assaults, just like it is for other types of social manipulation. The following are some key aspects that should be included in any training on cybersecurity awareness:
Never Give Out Personal Data: Vishing attacks are typically aimed to fool the victim into passing over personal information that may be used for fraud or in other attacks. It is important to remember not to give out any personal data. Over the phone, you should never provide your password, the number for your multi-factor authentication (MFA), any financial data, or any other information of a similar kind.
Always do a reverse phone lookup before giving up your personal information over the phone. Scammers often pose as representatives of reputable companies when they call. Get the caller's name and then call them back using the official number shown on the business website. This should be done before providing any personal information or doing anything else that the attacker suggests. It's probably a fraud if the person calling you attempts to persuade you out of doing what they want you to do.
Nobody Wants Gift Cards: It is standard practise for vishers to demand payment for unpaid taxes or other penalties in the form of gift cards or prepaid Visa cards. No One Wants Gift Cards No respectable company or institution would ever ask for payment in the form of a gift card or prepaid credit.
Under no circumstances should you provide remote access to your computer. Vishers may ask for remote access to your computer in order to "remove malware" or solve some other problem. Never provide access to your computer to anybody other than a member of the IT department who has been confirmed.
It is typical practise for vishers to attempt to pull the same scam on a variety of different targets, hence it is important that any suspicious activity be reported. Notify IT or the authorities about any suspected phishing attack, so that they may take the necessary precautions to safeguard others from being victimised.
Prevention of vishing attacks by training is imperfect, much like prevention of phishing assaults. There is always the possibility that an assault may be successful despite your best efforts. Vishing, on the other hand, is more difficult to defend against using technology than phishing. Because vishing takes place over the phone, it would be necessary to listen in on all phone conversations and keep an eye out for any warning indicators in order to identify possible assaults.
Because of this, businesses should defend themselves against vishing attacks by building many layers of security and concentrating on the goals of the attacker. In a business setting, a vishing attack might be used to infect an employee's computer with malware or provide the attacker access to confidential company information. Both of these outcomes would serve the attacker's goals. Even if the original attack vector (that is, the vishing phone call) is undetected, the effect of a vishing attack may be minimised by putting measures in place that prevent an attacker from attaining these aims. This can be done even if the vishing phone call is undetectable.
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