Social engineering plays an extremely significant role in the success of phishing attacks. As more and more users become aware of the problem, fraudsters need to find more creative ways of convincing users to surrender personal information to fraudulent websites.

It seems that most fraudsters have come to the conclusion that messages crafted to address security issues stand a better chance of attracting users’ attention and gaining their trust. These phishing emails usually call for immediate action and warn users that their account will be blocked if they fail to take the required action.

Here are a few examples of security-themed phishing emails:

Locked Account

These phishing emails claim that an account has been locked or limited for security reasons until more information is provided or a user’s identity is verified. Here are some examples:

Example 1:

Example 2:

command-and-control (C&C) server.

Where Traditional Phishing Falls Short

Fraudsters believe that by using the Trusteer brand, they are more likely to convince users to submit their personal information. However, some users looking at the Trusteer site may already have Trusteer Rapport on their desktop to prevent these attacks.

IBM Security Trusteer provides the following protection layers:

  1. IBM Security Trusteer Rapport provides online banking password protection that warns users if they attempt to submit their credentials to a phishing site.
  2. IBM intelligence investigates “interesting” websites, and if one is found to be malicious, it will alert its bank customers. Any Trusteer Rapport users who have submitted credentials to the website will be asked by the bank to change their username and password, and the website is then blacklisted within Trusteer Rapport.
  3. Banks subscribing to the IBM clientless phishing-detection service are automatically notified when someone tries to log in with stolen credentials. This enables the bank to alert victims to change their username and password and take down the malicious site.

* Trusteer was acquired by IBM in 2013.

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