As cybercriminals increasingly turn to malwareless phishing attacks, the ability for security solutions to correctly identify a malicious email is becoming more and more difficult.
We’d all like to think that all the investment we place in solutions designed to assess, scan, and detonate potentially malicious emails do an effective job at stopping an attack before it really gets started. But new data from PhishLabs shows that response-based email attacks (those that contain nothing malicious and require the response of the recipient to truly begin the attack) reach inboxes more than any other email-based threat.
According to PhishLabs, of the emails making it all the way to the Inbox, nearly 54% of these emails are response-based attacks, with 44% being focused on credential theft. In many cases, the initial email doesn’t need to contain much content of social engineering effort, other than impersonating a person or company.
The simple email of “Do you use Amazon?” if sent to the right recipients from the right impersonated sender can result in victims sending the scammer Amazon gift cards through a series of additional socially-engineered emails.
This shift to using completely malwareless attacks, mixed with the use of good social engineering, and even the use of AI tools like ChatGPT to craft the email content, all mixed with the fact that the vast majority of malicious emails based on this mix make it to the Inbox clearly indicates that if you’re not already using Security Awareness Training to empower users to understand the techniques used in these attacks, you’re organization will become their next victim.