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Phishing Attacks Surge by 1300% in 2023: A Crypto Bullseye Alert

crypto fraud crypto scams Jan 19, 2024

Phishing attacks saw an alarming increase of 1300% in 2023, posing a significant threat to your crypto assets. Let’s explore the reasons behind this surge and equip you with strategies to fight back against these malicious attempts.

Understanding phishing attacks

Phishing attacks involve individuals or groups attempting to impersonate trusted entities, such as crypto exchanges, banks, or even colleagues within your organization. The goal is to deceive you into taking actions that compromise your assets or personal information. Typically, attackers employ fake emails or text messages to lure victims into clicking on malicious links.

Watch this video on the surge in phishing attacks 

Why the surge in phishing attacks

To comprehend the unprecedented rise in phishing attacks, we turn to SlashNext's annual state of phishing report for insights. Covering the period from the fourth quarter of 2022 to the third quarter of 2023, this report analyzed billions of threats. By studying various phishing email examples and conducting interviews with over 300 security professionals, researchers linked the surge to the introduction of Chat GPT and other AI generative tools.

Lazy actors and sophisticated tools

All fraud actors and scammers are typically lazy and seek maximum returns with minimal effort. This is their formula and explains why they resort to fraudulent activities in the first place. The correlation between the uptick in attacks and the emergence of AI tools is evident. Attackers leverage tools like Chat GPT to craft convincing messages with impeccable grammar, making it harder for recipients to discern the fraudulent nature of the communication.

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Phishing red flags: Examine the copy

One key red flag in identifying phishing attacks lies in scrutinizing the email copy. Attackers, often non-native English speakers, display poor grammar and spelling mistakes. This is the laziness factor kicking in. However, with the assistance of AI tools like Chat GPT, attackers can now create sophisticated messages with correct grammar, making it crucial for users to look for other indicators, such as logos and formatting inconsistencies.

Key Takeaway
The phishing red flag of grammar is being eliminated by AI which means we have one less way of identifying scams.

By sharing experiences and insights, we can collectively develop a heightened awareness of the red flags associated with these attacks. What phishing emails have you encountered and what red flags stood out to you? If you spot a phishing email, spend some time to examine it more closing.

Related: Top Crypto Fraud Risks and How to Avoid Them

Strengthening defenses against phishing attacks 

As phishing attacks continue to evolve, it's crucial for people in the crypto space to stay vigilant and informed. By staying educated on the latest tactics employed by attackers, we can collectively build a more resilient community.

Key Takeaway
Phishing emails are a threat but they also have value because every one of them is a case study - a learning opportunity to create a better defense against future scams.

It’s also important to distinguish the risk of phishing attacks between the individual crypto investors and within an organization. Individuals have one risk to manage, themselves, while the phishing risk within a crypto startup, for example, is only as strong as the most vulnerable person. If a startup has 17 team members, it only takes one person to fall for a phishing scam to potentially put the entire organization at risk. Unfortunately, the people who fall for phishing attacks are also more likely to fall victim again. It’s like a “don’t learn your lesson” scenario. You can never have too much fraud education and training

That’s why I continue to say crypto has taught my everything I need to know about business and life.

Remember your goal is always to get a Crypto Bullseye™.

Yours in Crypto, 

Kirk David Phillips, CPA, CMA, CFE, CBP 

Content Insight

This content has been created through a collaborative effort, combining the capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) technology and the expertise of a seasoned professional with extensive experience in the crypto space. While AI played a role in generating portions of this material, it has been carefully reviewed, researched, and refined by a human expert to ensure accuracy, relevance, and a nuanced understanding of the subject matter. The information presented herein reflects a synthesis of AI-generated insights and the real-world knowledge contributed by the human expert, aiming to provide a comprehensive and well-informed perspective on the topic. Users are encouraged to verify details independently and seek advice from qualified professionals before making any financial or investment decisions.

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