Has a cyber criminal ever hooked you with a phishing email? Cyber criminals have experienced success with phishing emails, which was a driving force in the popularity of SMiShing messages. SMiShing is just like a phishing attack, but it's executed over text message. Our IT expert, Jeff Groby, brought the conversation over to the group at The Big 550 KTRS for another week of Tech Talk presented by SumnerOne.
Text Message Cyber Attacks: SMiShing
SMiShing is a combination of the terms "SMS" AND "phishing." As we mentioned above, this is a fraudulent message cyber attack sent over SMS (text message) instead of email.
The main goal of the attack is to capture people's personal information. Cyber criminals achieve this by sending out mass texts designed to capture the victim's attention. Some of the messages provide offers that sound exciting like, "Someone sent you a $15 Starbucks gift card, click here to download." As Sherry Farmer of the Guy Phillips Show mentioned, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Others can be of a threatening nature, "Click this link and fill out the survey to avoid being charged."
Cyber criminals usually use the initial general spam text message to see who bites at the offer. Once there is a bite, the criminals tend to create targeted attacks towards the victim to capitalize on whatever gain they can get from them. Sadly, the trend in phishing-style attacks only continues to grow. Understanding what these cyber attacks look like is your best tool in defending yourself.
Expert Tips for Avoiding a SMiShing Scam
- Be critical. If you weren't expecting to win a free coffee gift card that you didn't enter to win, you didn't.
- Don't follow the texts request. Sometimes by complying with the request even if it is "Text 'STOP' to be removed from listing" can be dangerous. This lets the cyber criminal know they've reached an active number.
- Look up the number. Type the number into a search engine and see if anyone else has reported receiving something similar from the same number.
Above all, if you do happen to click the link, don't fill anything out. The information that you provide is the premise of the attack. By providing your personal information you are putting yourself at risk. Immediately exit the link and do not contact the number. Being a critical consumer is your best bet at protecting yourself from phishing-style attacks.
Tech Talk Presented by SumnerOne
The experts at SumnerOne enjoy visiting the Guy Phillips Show each Friday afternoon at 4:20 for Tech Talk. If you have any questions about your network security or are interested in learning more about SumnerOne, give us a call. We will be back in the studio at The Big 550 KTRS again this week to share some insight into measures you can take to promote strong end-user education in the workplace. Check out our full video recap from last week down below.
Originally published August 30, 2018, updated March 26, 2019