Beware of Gmail Bait Attacks! Gmail accounts are used in 91%

Gmail Bait Attack
Gmail Bait Attack
Written by Emma Davis

Bait attacks are on the rise, and it appears that actors who distribute this special kind of phishing emails prefer to use Gmail accounts to conduct their attacks. According to a report by Barracuda, who surveyed 10,500 organizations, 35% of them received at least one bait attack email in September 2021 alone.

What is a baiting attack?

Bait attacks attack companies’ operations by mimicking real emails from a known contact. Some phishing emails also mimic documents.

The aim is to lure an employee to open an email attachment, copy or paste a link or open a file that the attacker will use to take control of the victim’s device, infect it with malware and to obtain sensitive data.

Example bait attack without any text

Example bait attack without any text
Source: Barracuda

Targeted phishing campaigns

Data reveals that more than 80% of the baiting emails were sent to the executive management team, followed by CEOs.

Senior executives were attacked by phishing scams twice as often as lower-level workers, with a drop in attacks happening when employees are eligible for retirement.

Krishna Simha, senior security strategist at Barracuda, said in a statement:

This shift in attack vectors reveals that baiting, while traditionally seen as targeting employees, has been adapted to targeting the decision-makers in the business. The data also shows that CEOs were targeted twice as often as other members of the senior leadership team. We can speculate that executives have better disposable incomes and are therefore a higher priority target.

What to do?

If you receive an email that looks suspicious, don’t simply open it. Instead, forward the email to your spam filter and delete it immediately. Always be vigilant and follow this advice:

Keep your anti-virus and anti-malware software up-to-date

Emma Davis
Emma Davis
IT Security Expert
It is better to prevent, than repair and repent!
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About the author

Emma Davis

I'm writer and content manager (a short time ago completed a bachelor degree in Marketing from the Gustavus Adolphus College). For now, I have a deep drive to study cyber security.

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