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Spear-Phishing Attacks: Cybercriminals Know Everything About You

Spear Phishing

First Posted: 09/01/11 10:16 AM ET Updated: 11/01/11 06:12 AM ET

By Ben Rooney, the Wall Street Journal

If you want to know just how sophisticated and targeted cyber attacks can be, consider one so-called spear phishing attack against a well-known public figure.

According to Oliver Crofton, CEO of Vigilante Bespoke, which describes itself as the world's first personal digital security company, the anonymous celebrity (discretion is everything in his world) received an email that appeared to all the world to be from the U.K.'s Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

"It looked exactly like the DVLA website, it had the right branding. It looked absolutely legitimate. It said the tax for his car was up for renewal.

"The email had the correct details of his number plate, his home address, his telephone number and his date of birth.

"It had so much detail specifically for him. There were no spelling errors, there were none of the normal tell-tale signs of a normal phishing email.

"Had that not been blocked by our filters, I would have fallen for that."

Read the full story: Wall Street Journal.

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