Hackers are getting smarter and now know how to leverage psychological triggers to get the attention of victims, according to a new report.
KnowBe4, a provider of security awareness training an simulated phishing platform has published its Top 10 Global Phishing Email Subject Lines for Q2 2018. The messages in the report, which were compiled from analysing KnowBe4 user data, are based on simulated phishing tests users received or real-world emails sent to users who then reported them to their IT departments.
Ironically, the top three messages for Q2 2018 show that hackers are playing into users’ commitment to security, all tricking users with clever subject lines that deal with passwords or security alerts.
Hackers continue to take advantage of the human psyche. A recent report from Webroot validates this notion with IT decision makers believing their organisations are most vulnerable to phishing attacks – more so than new forms of malware. Some 56 per cent of IT decision makers in the US believe their businesses will be most susceptible to phishing attacks, while 44 per cent of IT decision makers in the UK are most concerned with ransomware attacks. By playing into a person’s psyche to either feel wanted or alarmed, hackers continue to use email as a successful entry point for an attack.
“Hackers are smart and know how to leverage multiple psychological triggers to get the attention of an innocent victim,” said Perry Carpenter, chief evangelist and strategy officer at KnowBe4. “In today’s world, it’s imperative that businesses continually educate their employees about the tactics that hackers are using so they can be savvy and not take an email at face value. Hackers will continue to become more sophisticated with the tactics they use and advance their utilisation of social engineering in order to get what they want.”
The Top 10 Most-Clicked General Email Subject Lines Globally for Q2 2018 include:
- Password Check Required Immediately
- Security Alert
- Change of Password Required Immediately
- A Delivery Attempt was made
- Urgent press release to all employees
- De-activation of [[email]] in Process
- Revised Vacation & Sick Time Policy
- UPS Label Delivery, 1ZBE312TNY00015011
- Staff Review 2017
- Company Policies-Updates to our Fraternisation Policy