Inside the Dangerous World of Phishing Scams

Targeted email scams remain a political problem.

Silhouette adult man hacker.
Silhouette adult man hacker.
Getty Images

Phishing has replaced malware as the great computer security danger of our time. A new article in The Atlantic diagnoses the problem, as hackers turn away  from infiltrating the actual machines in favor of fooling the humans behind the computers.

Spear-phishing, in which a hacker studies his subject to figure out what type of email would most likely entice a compromising click, is the buzziest form of hacking because of its connection to political headlines. The most famous victim of spear-phishing is John Podesta, whose decision to enter his password through a link packaged in an email warning him about a Ukrainian attempt to log into his Gmail compromised the Democratic National Committee’s emails. Spear-phishing is relatively cheap and easy, and is deployed regularly to hack political credentials.

The answer to this problem, according to The Atlantic, must be provided by the tech giants. Until then, the burden will fall on individual users, who have very few viable defenses in their arsenal.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.