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Date: Mar. 2021
From: Strategic Finance(Vol. 102, Issue 9)
Publisher: Institute of Management Accountants
Document Type: Article
Length: 756 words
Lexile Measure: 1210L

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The name phishing owes its misspelling to hackers who sometimes rewrite an initial f as ph, as in "phone phreaking." The metaphoric reference, though, is much more accurate. Phishing involves dropping a line (email, voice mail, or SMS) to an individual for the purpose of angling for personal information or getting a victim to bite on a malware download.

COVID-19 has offered hackers a whole new set of schemes for their phishing attacks, and 2020 was a record year for phishing. More than 60,000 phishing websites were reported in March 2020, and by mid-April 2020, Google's Threat Analysis Group reported 18 million COVID-19-themed malware and phishing emails per day. What's even more unfortunate, Security Boulevard's blog reports, "97% of the users are unable to recognize a sophisticated phishing email."

What once were simply email requests, often with laughable grammar and spelling, have morphed into a variety of sophisticated attacks. Among the specialized types, spear phishing targets individuals or specific groups such as a company's system administrators. Whaling targets the biggest fish in the tank, CEOs and CFOs. Smishing uses text messaging (SMS), and vishing uses voice calls instead of...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A654002000