Spear Phishing

Spear phishing is a targeted form of phishing attack directed at specific individuals or organizations. Unlike broad-based phishing campaigns that send generic messages to large numbers of potential victims, spear phishing tailors messages using information about the target to make the bait more convincing. Attackers gather details—often from social media, public profiles, or previous data breaches—to craft believable communications. These emails, or messages, often appear to come from a trusted source, such as a colleague or a familiar institution. The end goal is typically to deceive the recipient into divulging confidential information, transferring funds, or downloading malware. Due to its personalized nature, spear phishing is generally more successful than generic phishing attacks. Recognizing such attacks requires awareness and skepticism, even when an email seems to come from a known contact. Regular training, combined with technological safeguards, can help individuals and organizations defend against spear phishing threats.