Everyone stores information on computers. User personal information. Credit card data. Business plans. Political campaign information. Military aircraft plans. Cell phones (computers that make phone calls) disclose locations and troop movements. You name it, it is stored on a computer. A very effective means of accessing information on a computer is to trick the authorized user into granting access. The press calls this “hacking.” Maybe it should be called e-spionage!
Is there really a “spy mode” button on every computer? Actually, there is — and bad guys trick users into pushing the “spy mode” button all the time. The “spy mode” button is that final click that the bad guy tricks the user into clicking. That click is the last step in a series of socially engineered steps that usually starts with a phishing email. Consider the case of the Clinton Presidential Campaign. Somebody sent the campaign manager an email that looked like a real password reset request. The email recipient opened the email, clicked the link and interacted with the linked website. Through these carefully planned and orchestrated interactions, the bad guys obtained access to the campaign manager’s email. Yes, it took a lot of steps, but he pushed the “spy mode” button.
The root cause of much espionage is that authorized employees are following bad instructions because of social engineering. The scam works because email is ideally suited to social engineering scams. You can fight back using SP Guard. SP Guard fights email impersonation schemes.