Spear-Phishing Could Enable Cyberterrorism Attacks Against The U.S.


Editor’s note: Tom Chapman is a former Navy intelligence officer who now serves as director of cyber operations at cybersecurity firm Edgewave

If terrorists ever orchestrate a cyberattack against the U.S., the odds are 9 in 10 that spear-phishing will be the first step of their assault. The same technique that has breached Sony, Anthem, Target, the Pentagon and thousands of organizations every year, spear-phishing is used in some 91 percent of cyberattacks, according to the security firm Micro Trend. We can either spread awareness of spear-phishing now or suffer the consequences later.

Spear-phishing, like phishing, involves emailing a malicious link or file. Whereas phishers send mass emails in hopes of stealing credit card information, Social Security numbers and login credentials from as many people as possible, spear-phishers are more precise. They usually target one or few individuals at an organization, and they conduct extensive research in order to…

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