Go Phish! What do thieves get from stealing our data?
If black hats were sharks, then our emails would be a school of innocent, unsuspecting guppies nonchalantly drifting along. For black hats or malicious hackers, getting into the average person’s email is as challenging as overeating at a buffet.
After all, e-mail is the most successful federated communication system ever built, with over 281 billion emails sent per day and growing. We’re helpless without email. Most people cannot imagine an hour going by without checking and answering emails, let alone a day. Over email, you send updates on your address and banking information to your service providers or clients, health information to your university or insurance agent, and more. Despite this, email traffic generally does not have end-to-end encryption, leaving it highly vulnerable. And 91% of cyber attacks are carried out through e-mail. Fish, meet barrel.
And for whatever e-mail scanners or antivirus you have running, know that black hats are developing their own predatory tools at a much faster rate. Social engineering, baiting, and placing malicious links in places as seemingly harmless as unsubscribe buttons are just a few items from their arsenal of tricks. Cybersecurity companies are getting better at detecting threats and identifying suspicious emails or links, but most people are just not tech savvy enough to avoid these pitfalls.