Now that the public’s overall awareness of phishing is much greater, getting people to click phony links in an email isn’t as easy as it used to be. However, phishers, now motivated (and possibly funded) by organized criminal elements, are investing more time in actually fooling people, producing very authentic-looking emails intended for audiences with accounts worth compromising, such as the ones that control payroll or bank accounts for small companies. A recent phishing campaign dissected by Webroot details a focused targeting of Intuit’s popular Quickbooks platform. Using a combination of scare tactics, actual Intuit branding and realistic-sounding text, actual Quickbooks users may be lulled into a false sense of security and click through to malware-laden sites which quickly compromise their computers.
What this means for you:
Whenever you receive a request from a known service provider via email, always, ALWAYS! check the integrity of the links they ask you to click, especially if the communication wasn’t expected. How do you check the links in an email? Read my previous post “Ransomware Virus Targets Skype Users” for details on how to check if the links are valid. Even if the email seems to be legitimate, skip clicking the links altogether and go straight the the website in question by typing in the URL yourself, or pick up the phone to call the company. Your computer and financial security are worth a few more minutes and keystrokes!