Spot the Phish - CEO, Dept. of Labor, IRS N

Spot the Phishing Attempt - Cybersecurity Awareness

The images displayed below are either phishing emails or real. Spot the phishy one(s)! Click on the images to zoom in.

Spoiler Alert: Answers are below.

Answer: For a change, all the four emails are phishes! Let’s see how…

Image 1 details: The biggest sign is that there is money involved! There is a sense of urgency in the email for a money transfer and the email is purportedly from the CEO. Such phishing emails are classic Business Email Compromise (BEC) emails.

CEO Email Phishing Attempt Explained 1Image 2 details: The biggest cybersecurity giveaway is the domain of the supposed Department of Labor. Almost all government agencies have a .gov domain. So, that’s clearly phishy! And you see the .com in multiple places – the sender’s email address as well as the hyperlink. Also, there are spelling and abbreviation errors.

Dept. of Labor Phishing Attempt Explained 2

Image 3 details: First, there’s no sender name. Second, the email is sent from a personal (Gmail) account and the sender’s email address has a typo. Third, the sender asks for confidential information to be sent over email. Finally, the signature of the email doesn’t have the name of the sender either. Well, that’s plenty of red flags for you, quite clearly an attempted phishing attack!CEO Phishing Attempt 3 Explained

Image 4 details: First of all, the IRS never sends you emails. They always communicate via postal mail. Even if you weren’t aware of that, there’s another thing phishy in the email. Take a look at the hyperlink. You’ll see that the domain is www.ir5.gov. Now that’s phishy! There are other signs, as well, but this should be enough for you to know that this is a phishing email.

IRS Phishing Attempt Explained 4

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