Phishing, vishing, whaling, spear-phishing: the list of clever new terms seems constantly to change. A successful attack by any other name, though, is just as sweet to the adversary. Terminology aside, the fundamental problem is this. Phishing is the most common and effective way to steal data because it goes after the weakest chain in our cybersecurity armor: the human being. Even high-profile people, including one CEO of a major cybersecurity firm and major figures in law enforcement, have fallen victim to phishing attacks.
Cybersecurity, or lack thereof, was a hallmark of the 2016 election season. With Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, being chief among the targets of cyber attackers. In March of this year, Podesta fell victim to the oldest trick in the book – phishing – which led to the subsequent hacking and Wikileaks-led disclosure of hundreds of thousands of emails.