Recently, Javelin Strategy & Research, the industry standard-bearer on identity trends, issued its annual identity theft report, which found that identity theft cases jumped 16 percent over the past year, very notably the highest since the firm began tracking identity fraud in 2004. In fact, 2016 was the biggest identity theft year—ever.
As you may know, phishing is a cyber-attack in which criminals bait their victims to take an action that allows the criminals to acquire sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers. Once criminals obtain the victims’ information, they can use it for any number of nefarious purposes, including to steal identities, empty bank accounts, and gain access to corporate networks and private email systems.
Spear-phishing is similar to phishing but targets a specific company, person or organization. The criminal crafts a context-specific campaign that increases the odds that their targeted victim will take the action they desire.