Phishing Detection

Phishing detection consists of the tools and methods organizations use to identify and respond to phishing attacks in their early stages. Phishing detection is critical to protect sensitive data, reduce compliance risk, and maintain brand reputation

How Flare Enables Phishing Detection

How does Flare answer phishing detection needs?

Flare’s clear and dark web monitoring solution enables security teams to monitor the locations where threat actors discuss their illegal activities. With the ability to “listen in,” security teams can identify malicious actors targeting an organization as a phishing attack victim or exploiting the organization’s brand to trick customers. 

How does Flare make phishing detection easier?

Flare’s platform collects relevant threat information and maps the organization’s attack surface so that security teams gain visibility into brand and domain mentions. Flare’s solution reduces the noise typically associated with threat intelligence, sending alerts with only the most pertinent information and providing high-fidelity actionable organization-specific intelligence. 

What are the key benefits of using Flare to help with phishing detection?

  • Monitor hundreds of dark web marketplaces, illicit Telegram channels, and other sources to identify threat actor behavior targeting or using the organization as part of a phishing attack. 
  • Prioritized alerts for detected malicious activity so that security teams can proactively remediate issues and reduce organizational risk. 
  • Automated information collection and analysis that provides context for events and translates posts written in foreign languages to empower analysts of all experience levels. 

Phishing Detection: A Brief Overview

What is phishing detection?

Phishing detection mitigates data breach and brand reputation risks by identifying and detecting phishing attacks. Malicious actors use phishing attacks to trick end-users into charing sensitive information, including:

  • Usernames
  • Passwords
  • Financial details
  • Personally identifiable information (PII), like birth date or email address

Phishing detection minimizes the potential harm to an organization’s operations and reputation by blocking risky emails or alerting users by looking for suspicious:

  • Domains or IP addresses
  • Language and patterns in the body of an email
  • Email headers

What are the types of phishing attacks?

Phishing is a general term for any activity where malicious actors trick users into engaging in an activity that is against their best interests. Some common phishing attack types include:

  • Business Email Compromise (BEC): impersonating senior leadership members or trusted employees 
  • Whaling: sending senior leadership members emails to steal high-value credentials with access to privileged, sensitive information
  • Angler: using fake social media posts to trick people into downloading malware or providing credentials
  • Smishing: using texts message or SMS to deliver malicious messages
  • Clone phishing: creating fake copies of legitimate email, web pages, or websites 
  • Domain spoofing: mimicking an organization’s email domain to exploit customer trust
  • Evil-Twin Wi-Fi: creating a fake wi-fi network that looks like a legitimate public one, like in an airport or restaurant
  • HTTPS: sending emails with fake, malicious website links

Types of phishing detection techniques

As attackers increase the volume and sophistication of phishing attacks, organizations should understand the following detection techniques so they can implement appropriate risk mitigation strategies:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): algorithms that analyze emails to identify suspicious words, phrases, grammatical errors, domain names, and website link structures
  • Behavior-based: creating a baseline of normal users activities, like websites visited and applications used, to identify abnormal activity indicating an in-progress phishing attack
  • URL filtering: analyzing URL digit count and length to identify malicious links, like looking domains that misspell an organization’s name to deceive victims
  • Email scanning: analyzing an email’s contents and attachments, often isolating the risky email in a sandboxed environment, to prevent delivery 

Why Is Phishing Detection Important in Today’s Cybersecurity Landscape?

What is phishing-as-a-service (PhaaS)?

Phishing-as-a-Service (PhaaS) is part of Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) and Malware-as-a-Service criminal ecosystem where threat actors who develop the malware use a subscription-based, profit based, or percentage split sales model for selling it to other cybercriminals. In the PhaaS model, the malware developers provide a platform, similar to legitimate Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tools, that provides pre-made phishing campaigns. 

This new criminal ecosystem reduces the technical barrier to entry, making it easier for malicious actors to customize and deploy phishing attacks. Typically, these platforms include the same services and capabilities as legitimate software platforms, like:

  • Customer support
  • Tutorials
  • Updates

How threat actors use brand spoofing for phishing attacks

Brand spoofing occurs when malicious actors mimic a legitimate organization then create deceptive websites, emails, social media accounts, or other communications channels to use as part of their phishing attacks. By pretending to be the legitimate brand, the attackers exploit people’s trust in that brand, tricking them into taking an adverse action. 

Some examples of brand spoofing may include:

  • Modifying a logo’s design or color scheme
  • Copying the design, layout, and content of an email or website
  • Using a different character to represent one from a legitimate URL, like an uppercase I substituted for a lowercase L
  • Using a different domain from the original, like changing to 

How threat intelligence enhances phishing detection

As threat actors increasingly use the dark web and illicit Telegram channels to sell their PhaaS products, security teams that leverage threat intelligence as part of phishing detection can mitigate risk more efficiently by:

  • Gaining real-time insights into emerging phishing techniques and trends
  • Identifying compromised workforce emails and credentials that attackers can use for phishing attacks, like whaling or BEC
  • Detecting third-party vendors that cybercriminals may be impersonating, like sending fake Microsoft login request emails
  • Identifying spoofed corporate websites that attackers use to steal credentials or deliver malware
  • Reviewing malicious actor chatter about the business, including brand spoofing attempts and targeted phishing attacks

Phishing Detection and Flare

Flare provides the leading Threat Exposure Management (TEM) solution for organizations. Our technology constantly scans the online world, including the clear & dark web, to discover unknown events, automatically prioritize risks, and deliver actionable intelligence you can use instantly to improve security. Flare’s platform scans the clear and dark web, including illicit Telegram channels, to identify threat actors targeting an organization’s workforce or using a company’s brand as part of a phishing attack. 
Our solution integrates into your security program in 30 minutes to provide your team with actionable intelligence and automated remediation for high-risk exposure. See it yourself with our free trial.

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