Here’s a geeky-sounding term it’s important to know about for the security of internet, e-mail and other computer-driven functions – spear-phishing.
Tom Chapman, who TechCrunch.com advises is a former Navy intelligence officer now serving as director of cyber operations at cybersecurity firm Edgewave, writes that “Spear-phishing, like phishing, involves emailing a malicious link or file. Whereas phishers send mass emails in hopes of stealing credit card information, Social Security numbers and login credentials from as many people as possible, spear-phishers are more precise. They usually target one or (a) few individuals at an organization, and they conduct extensive reserch in order to craft a very personal and convincing email.”
What are they trying to garner? Hard to say – it depends on the setting at which spear-phishing is aimed. It could be a corporate, utility or home-office setting.
“Hacking the controls for nuclear power plants, traffic systems and other vital infrastructure after a spear-phishing breach requires significant skill, but that skill level is increasingly common.”
So scan your e-mails with wary eyes. Fishermen aren’t always benign.