Today, most cyberattacks are based on social engineering, which is the careful manipulation of human behavior.
98% of all cyberattacks use social engineering. ~GCA Cybersecurity Toolkit post.
Cybercriminals use various social engineering techniques to defraud businesses of money and private information. One of the most common and successful social engineering techniques employed globally is baiting attacks.
Have you ever heard about the Baiting Attack?
Or If you’re wondering how to prevent baiting attacks, this post will cover this topic in-depth.
What Is Baiting Attack?
Baiting Attack Meaning: A strategy used in social engineering where a person is seduced by a deceptive promise that appeals to their curiosity or greed. Baiting is when an attacker leaves a USB stick with a harmful payload in lobbies or parking lots in hopes that someone will put it into a device out of curiosity, at which time the malware it contains can be deployed.
In a baiting cyber attack, the attacker can send an email message to the victim’s inbox containing an attachment containing a malicious file. After opening the attachment, it installs itself on your computer and spies on your activities.
The attacker also sends you an email containing a link to a website that hosts malicious code. When you click on this link, it can infect your device with malware or ransomware.
Hackers often use baiting Attacks to steal personal data or money from their victims. This attack has become more common as criminals have found new ways to trick people into becoming victims of cybercrime.
Releated Read: What Is Malware?
Baiting Attack Techniques
The bait can take many forms:
- Online downloads: These are links to malicious files that can be sent through email, social media, or instant messaging programs. Instant messaging programs like Facebook, and Instagram messengers will send links to followers who click these types of links.
- Malware-infected devices: The attacker may infect a computer with malware and sell it on the dark web. Potential buyers can test the device by connecting it to their network and seeing if they get infected.
- Tempting offers: These emails invite people to buy something at a discounted price — or even for free. The link leads to malware instead of merchandise.
Example of Baiting in Social Engineering Attack
The following are some baiting attack examples:
- An attacker sends an email that appears to be from a legitimate company asking for personal information from employees, such as their Social Security numbers or passwords.
- A company posts job openings on its website and then asks applicants to provide their personal information before they can apply.
- A hacker creates a fake website that looks like it belongs to a real business and then asks people to submit their credit card information so they can buy products or receive services from the website.
Baiting vs. Phishing
Baiting and phishing are two different types of scams. The basic difference is that baiting involves a real company or organization, while phishing is used to pretend that the email sender is someone you know and trust.
Baiting uses a legitimate company or organization as bait to trick you into giving out personal information or clicking on a link. This can take the form of spam emails about products or services, direct mailings, or even phone calls from telemarketers. The goal is to convince you to provide them with the information they can use for identity theft.
Phishing scams typically come in emails and often include attachments or links that could infect your computer with malicious software (malware). They may also ask for your money or bank account information by pretending to be from a bank or other financial institution.
Related Read: Phishing vs Spam
How To Prevent a Successful Baiting Attack?
Preventing a successful baiting attack takes work. The only way is to understand the attackers’ motives and goals.
1. Educate Your Employees
The first step to preventing a successful baiting attack is educating your employees on protecting themselves. This can be done through training and awareness campaigns, but keeping them up-to-date on the latest phishing trends and tactics is important. You should also teach them to recognize potential threats before clicking on any links or opening any attachments.
2. Don’t Follow Links Blindly
It’s easy for employees to get lazy and click on whatever link they see in an email because they assume that if someone sends it, it must be safe. However, this isn’t always true—phishers often send messages that look like they come from legitimate sources, such as your company’s email address or another employee’s address (such as someone who works in HR).
3. Educate Yourself To Avoid Baiting Attacks
Learn to think skeptically about any offer that’s too good to be true, such as an offer for free money or items.
The deal probably isn’t as good as it seems.
If someone asks you for personal or financial information over email or text, even if they claim they’re from your bank, don’t give it out! Instead, call your bank directly and ask if they sent the message asking for this info (and then report the scammer).
4. Use Antivirus and Anti-malware Software
Many good antivirus programs are available, but not all will protect you from a baiting attack. You need to ensure you have one that can detect and block the latest threats before they infect your computer. If you don’t have one installed, you can try out our free Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium software, which provides real-time protection against malware and other threats.
5. Don’t Use External Devices Before You Check Them for Malware.
External devices like USB flash drives and external hard drives can carry malware that can infect your computer when they’re connected. So make sure any external device you connect to your computer has been scanned for viruses first.
6. Hold Organized Simulated Attacks
Another way to prevent successful baiting attacks is by holding organized simulated attacks. These simulations help identify weaknesses in your systems and procedures, allowing you to fix them before they become real problems. They also help employees get used to identifying suspicious behavior, so they know what to look for when it happens.
Baiting attacks are not new, but they’re becoming increasingly common and can be very damaging. If you run a business, blog, or forum, know that it is your responsibility to protect your online assets from infestation. It’s best to nip these issues before they can become more widespread.