A new survey by cybersecurity firm Proofpoint has found that a whopping 99% of email attacks rely on victims clicking links. However, negligent end users aren’t always to blame (or at least they’re not always 100% to blame), because some of today’s phishing campaigns look VERY authentic.

The relative authenticity of certain cyber scams was the inspiration for September’s poll question, where we asked you to share the most realistic-looking cyber scam you’ve ever seen.

Here are some of the scams that caught your attention and had you shaking your head at just how far hackers have come in recent years:

  • Fake emails claiming to be from Amazon and referencing a problem with a recent order.
  • Fake emails claiming to be from eBay.
  • Fake emails claiming to be from Apple for a purchased app.
  • Fake emails claiming to be from Microsoft about Office 365.
  • Fake emails claiming to be from banks.
  • Fake emails claiming to be from prepaid credit card merchants to check a payment.
  • Fake Word document invoices that target specific industries such as shipping.
  • Fake bills claiming to be from telecommunications companies.
  • Fake emails claiming to be from PayPal.
  • Fake SMS messages warning about your account being locked.
  • Fake pop-up messages saying that your machine has been infected with a virus.
  • Fake emails claiming to be from the security office where you work saying: “Be careful of phishing attacks. We want our employees to know how to defend themselves – click here for training” (wow, some hackers are pretty clever, aren’t they?).

And lastly: community member Matt once received an email asking him to click a link and read a movie script, and then afterwards feature in it. Of course, he didn’t click it. But who knows? Maybe it was his ticket to Hollywood, and he could have ended up rubbing elbows with the Coen Brothers. Oh well, I guess we’ll never know. But don’t worry Matt, you can be a celebrity around here. Maybe you can drop by Devolutions HQ and share witty anecdotes with Yann and Jenny?

The Winners Are…

Everyone who participated in September’s poll is a winner, because you’ve spread awareness of some realistic-looking cyber scams. Knowledge is power, right?

Now, let’s see who will win a $25 Amazon gift card…drum roll please…congratulations to John Kenny and Anders Lund! Please email me at jdupont@devolutions.net to claim your prize.

We’ll be posting October’s poll question soon. Stay tuned!