Phishing Database: Real Email Phishing Attack Examples & Threats

Define the search below to see the real threats that are currently evading your SEG.

The top SEGs in the world missed all of these attacks.
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1,552 Total Threats Caught by Cofense
SEG Miss Screenshot

Microsoft Defender for O365

Type: Credential Phishing

Posted On: 01/31/2023

Tactic: Attachment

Theme: Finance

Phishing Example Description:
Finance-themed emails found in environments protected by Microsoft ATP delivering Credential Phishing embedded in an attached HTML file.

SEG Miss Screenshot

Proofpoint

Type: Credential Phishing

Posted On: 01/31/2023

Tactic: Link

Theme: Finance

Phishing Example Description:
Finance-themed emails found in environments protected by Proofpoint delivering Credential Phishing via an embedded link.

SEG Miss Screenshot

Proofpoint

Type: QakBot

Posted On: 01/31/2023

Tactic: Link

Theme: Finance

Phishing Example Description:
Finance-themed emails found in environments protected by Proofpoint delivering a .one OneNote file containing a malicious HTA file that downloads HTML content, decrypts, and runs QakBot.

SEG Miss Screenshot

TrendMicro

Type: Credential Phishing

Posted On: 01/30/2023

Tactic: Attachment

Theme: Finance

Phishing Example Description:
Finance-themed emails found in environments protected by TrendMicro and Microsoft ATP to deliver an attached PDF file. The attached PDF file downloads another PDF file via an embedded link. The downloaded PDF file delivers Credential Phishing via also another embedded link.

SEG Miss Screenshot

Microsoft Defender for O365

Type: Credential Phishing

Posted On: 01/30/2023

Tactic: Attachment

Theme: Finance

Phishing Example Description:
Finance-themed emails found in environments protected by TrendMicro and Microsoft ATP to deliver an attached PDF file. The attached PDF file downloads another PDF file via an embedded link. The downloaded PDF file delivers Credential Phishing via also another embedded link.

SEG Miss Screenshot

Mimecast

Type: BEC

Posted On: 01/30/2023

Tactic: BEC

Theme: Finance

Phishing Example Description:
Finance-themed emails found in environments protected by Mimecast deliver BEC.

SEG Miss Screenshot

Proofpoint

Type: Credential Phishing

Posted On: 01/27/2023

Tactic: Link

Theme: Notification

Phishing Example Description:
Notification-themed emails found in environments protected by Proofpoint, Microsoft ATP, Symantec MessageLabs, and Cisco Ironport deliver Credential Phishing via an embedded link.

SEG Miss Screenshot

Microsoft Defender for O365

Type: Credential Phishing

Posted On: 01/27/2023

Tactic: Link

Theme: Notification

Phishing Example Description:
Notification-themed emails found in environments protected by Proofpoint, Microsoft ATP, Symantec MessageLabs, and Cisco Ironport deliver Credential Phishing via an embedded link.

SEG Miss Screenshot

Symantec MessageLabs

Type: Credential Phishing

Posted On: 01/27/2023

Tactic: Link

Theme: Notification

Phishing Example Description:
Notification-themed emails found in environments protected by Proofpoint, Microsoft ATP, Symantec MessageLabs, and Cisco Ironport deliver Credential Phishing via an embedded link.

SEG Miss Screenshot

Cisco Ironport

Type: Credential Phishing

Posted On: 01/27/2023

Tactic: Link

Theme: Notification

Phishing Example Description:
Notification-themed emails found in environments protected by Proofpoint, Microsoft ATP, Symantec MessageLabs, and Cisco Ironport deliver Credential Phishing via an embedded link.

Frequently Asked Questions

A phishing attack is when a fraudster sends an email to trick the recipient. The idea is to persuade the target into giving up sensitive information, for instance, your corporate network credentials, or perhaps to authorize some type of financial transaction. The vast majority of data breaches against businesses today begin as phishing attacks.

Just a couple of famous phishing examples:

The infamous Target breach back in 2013 started with a phishing email that gave attackers a foothold in Target’s business systems for further attacks.
Phishing appeared prominently in the Mueller Report on the 2016 presidential election hacking.

Some quick phishing statistics:

Over 55% organizations experienced a successful phish last year.
$12 billion is the 5-year global cost of just one type of phishing attack, business email compromise (BEC).
The average phishing attack costs a mid-sized business $3.86 million.

Our database has thousands of phishing examples, but most fit into one of these 3 categories:

Phishing Emails with Malicious Links: Sometimes a phishing attack is simply an email with an embedded link. When you click, you either unknowingly activate malware or are directed to a webpage that looks perfectly legitimate but is designed to harvest your information.

Phishing Attacks with Malicious Attachments: Phishing attackers often send emails with attachments containing malware. When you click, look out. Many times phishing attackers use popular document types such as Microsoft Word or Excel or even Adobe PDFs. They take advantage of the trust people place in popular business tools.

Business Email Compromise (BEC): BEC emails, also known as CEO Fraud, typically don’t use malware but simply try to manipulate the target into sending money. Traditionally, BEC phishing attacks try to get employees in the finance department to authorize wire transfers, for instance, to a “vendor” or “partner.” This kind of attack often uses ‘CEO fraud phishing’ where attackers pretend to be the CEO or CFO to spur quick action.

Phishing attack examples of real phish provide highly useful intelligence that helps security teams better pinpoint attacker methods and tactics. They help protect businesses from malware-bearing phish. Because attacker campaigns change quickly, real-world phishing examples are a central component of comprehensive security. Phishing attack examples reveal the latest threat actor maneuvers as they are being launched.

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