Phones have completely changed our lives. We can easily connect with others by using our phones. These little devices have become complicated and sophisticated with time. They are an inseparable part of everyone’s life. However, this little device can also get hacked. Attackers can use phone calls for stealing your data and information. In this article, we are going to talk about the Vishing attack. This information will help you in protecting yourself from cyber attackers.
What is Vishing?
Vishing is a type of cyber attack in which attackers will try to trick potential victims. They will try to steal confidential and personal data over the phone. You might think that this is an old-fashioned cyber attack and scam. However, attackers are using the latest voice simulation technology for tricking people.
In this attack, attackers will call you and try to convince you to share personal, confidential, and sensitive data. It is a combination of both Phishing and voice attack. The main aim of this attack is to extract financial or personal data from the victims.
Attackers will try to convince you that you are doing the right thing by sharing the data with them. This can be ensured by doing multiple things. They might pose as a tech employee from your company. Sometimes they will act as your boss. Thus, victims will feel that they have to share this information otherwise they will get in trouble. Attackers can do hundreds of calls every minute by using VoIP technology.
Vishing is a type of social engineering technique. Attackers will try to force victims in revealing important and confidential data. Social engineering is mainly a manipulation technique. It is based on the human instinct of trust. Attackers exploit this for stealing personal and corporate data. Most of the successful attacks have some social engineering involved. It is difficult to trick a machine but humans can be tricked easily. A vishing attack is generally unpredictable. Attackers do a lot of planning before executing this attack. Thus, it can cause a lot of harm to the victim.
Example of Vishing Attack
We are going to talk about some examples of Vishing attacks in this section. This will help you in understanding how attackers execute this attack.
Attackers might call you and tell you that you can get a free pizza. All you need to do is share some personal data with them. Attackers are trying to exploit the basic human instinct for tricking victims. If you share your personal data with the attackers, then they can use that data to do more serious attacks.
IT support fraud
Attackers will try to act as IT support from a reputable company. They will inform you about some unusual activity from your account. Attackers will tell you that you have to confirm their account details. They might ask you about your email address and password. If you are not careful, then attackers can easily steal your data by conducting this attack.
Social security fraud
Attackers can sometimes also pose as government agents or medical agents. They will try to steal your Medicare number or bank account details. Attackers can exploit this data from getting healthcare benefits. They can also tell you that your social security number has been suspended and you need to confirm the number. You might end up sharing your social security number with them.
Attackers can also impersonate the Credit card company or bank. They will tell the victim that some suspicious activity is happening in their bank account or there is some issue with their credit card. The victims might share their bank details for confirming this. Attackers will get access to your sensitive data by conducting this fraud.
Attackers will tell victims that they have found some anomaly in their tax returns. They will send a pre-recorded message to the victim. The victim might feel threatened by this and will call back. The scammer will use a fake caller ID for pretending they are calling from the IRS. It is important to ensure that you are protecting your employees from this type of attack.
Different Types of a Vishing attack
You should also know about the different types of Vishing attack that exists. This will help you in avoiding these attacks. Some famous types of Vishing attacks are:
Attackers can use VoIP technology for creating fake numbers. These fake numbers will help attackers in hiding their real identities. It is not easy to trace these numbers. You might think that the call is coming from a local place. Attackers are using VoIP technology for creating numbers that look like a government department or police department number. This is the main technology used by attackers to trick users.
Caller ID Spoofing
Attackers will use this strategy for tricking victims. They will use fake caller ids for pretending like a legit government officer. You might fall for this trap if you are not careful. It is important to check some proof of identity before you share anything with unknown callers.
This is a very unique strategy used by attackers. They will steal valid phone numbers from banks and other office buildings. If they have access to these valid phone numbers, then they can easily pose as real officers. This information can help attackers in conducting a successful vishing attack.
Most attackers are using this attack for stealing data. They will make automated calls to thousands of numbers. Attackers will use tools for generating area codes. They will use pre-recorded messages for tricking users. This message will contain some local bank, police department, or government organization name. They will threaten the victim and ask them to call back. If you call back, then they will ask for personal information. They will try to steal personal or financial details from you. It is important to ensure that you are never calling back to such numbers.
How you can detect a Vishing attack?
The best way to avoid a vishing attack is by ignoring it. However, this is not an easy task. Telecom operators are using a fraud detection system for reducing this type of attack. They will tell you that this is a scam call. However, attackers can still trick this system. They can create a new caller ID for tricking you. It is important to know about the signs of a Vishing attack.
The caller is claiming to be a government officer
Real government agencies will never collect your data through email, text messages, or voice calls. They will never ask for your personal or financial information on voice calls. If some caller is saying that they are a government official, then you should be sceptical. Make sure that you are confirming their identity before you share anything.
The caller is asking you to provide confidential data
You should ensure that you are never sharing your confidential data with anyone. This is applicable in every situation. Even if the scammer is trying to you convince by sharing your public information. You should be careful if someone is asking you for your personal information.
The caller will try to create a sense of urgency
Cybercriminals are using the old social engineering tactics for tricking the victims. The main tactic is to use the instincts of greed and fear to trick users. They will tell you that your account will get suspended or you have won some lottery. Your social security benefits will be suspended if you don’t share your data with them. You have to remain calm during this process. Make sure that you are never sharing your personal data if someone is trying to create a sense of urgency on call.
Prevention Strategies: How to protect yourself from Vishing attacks?
You should know about the precautionary measures that you can take to be safe from Vishing attacks. Some of the precautionary measures that you can take are:
Try to avoid unknown calls
Don’t be tempted to answer every call you receive. You should be careful before picking up any unknown call. It is a good idea to let these calls to your voicemail. You can decide later if you want to call back or not. This will help you in avoiding vishing calls. You can also forward unknown callers for protecting yourself.
Never share your personal information over the call
You should ensure that you are never sharing your personal information over the call. This should be a rule that you should always follow. Legit organizations will never ask you to share your sensitive information over the call. If they need your data, then they will invite you to their office. Thus, you should ensure that you are never sharing personal information with anyone on the call.
Use the National Do Not Call Registry
If you don’t want to receive calls from telemarketers, then you can add your number to the do not call registry for free. This is a national registry. It will help you in avoiding some calls. However, it is not a perfect system. This is not going to block every call. You might still receive calls from charitable or political organizations. However, this registry will help you in avoiding a lot of telemarketer calls. Thus, you should definitely add your number to this registry.
You should never believe the identity of a caller. If someone is telling you that they are calling from the IT support department, then you should first countercheck. Attackers might try to lure you with free prizes or free money. You should first ask them for the proof. This will help you in verifying their claims. If someone is claiming that they are from a legit organization, then you should ask for their identity card or proof of identity. Make sure that you are only talking with them if they are providing some proof to you. If they are refusing to provide this data, then you should simply cut the call.
Never respond to prompts
You should never press buttons when you are on call. Attackers might send you some prompts on your phone. Make sure that you are never responding to prompts that are coming from unknown sources. The responses might help attackers in identifying potential targets. They will do even a more targeted attack on you for stealing your data.
Hang up call
It is important to cut the call if you think that you are talking with a scammer. This is the easiest way to avoid this attack. Don’t try to talk with them as they might eventually convince them. They have also gathered some data about you. Thus, they will try to convince you by sharing this data with you. You should directly hang up when you think that there is something wrong.
I hope now you understand the Vishing attack. It is a type of cyber attack which is heavily used by cyber attackers. You can lose your financial and personal information if you fall victim to this attack. It is important to ensure that you are protecting yourself from this type of attack. You should try to protect both your organization and your employees from this type of attack.
It is important to know about different types of cyberattacks. This will help you in improving your Cyber security. Bleuwire is helping the organization in taking its cyber security to the next level. They are helping organizations in training their employees about the best IT security practices. Bleuwire will also help you in creating a perfect IT security strategy for your organization. They will help you in staying compliant with regulations like HIPAA and PCI DSS. If you need more information regarding IT security services, then you can contact Bleuwire.