Barrel phishing, also known as double-barrel phishing or multi-stage phishing, while not a specific attack typically refers to a general phishing tactic that involves two or more separate emails, to steal sensitive information or data from unsuspecting victims. This type of phishing has become increasingly common and is a growing concern for both individuals and organizations.
There are several types of barrel phishing attacks, including:
For an attacker targeting a businesses barrel phishing starts with the initial stage, where the attacker sends an email or message to the victim posing as a trustworthy source, but most commonly this first message does not contain any malicious content. The goal of the initial message is to establish trust with the target within the organization by posing as a coworker, partner, or executive (e.g. CEO Fraud/V.I.P impersonation).
The second stage of barrel phishing involves the attacker sending another email or message that contains the malicious content or request for sensitive information. These follow-up emails and message leverage malicious attachments or links to fraudulent pages to obtain login credentials, also known as credential harvesting. This second stage can often result in the attacker gaining even more sensitive information or control over the victim's device.
Barrel phishing can be difficult to detect, since the attacker is more patient and the malicious intent of the attack isn't as straightforward. Attackers often use impersonation tactics using familiar names, logos or branding to make the phishing attempt appear legitimate. However, there are several warning signs that can help identify double-barrel phishing:
Since barrel phishing is a serious threat to organizations, and it's important to take steps proactive measures to protect against it. Implementing the following security measures can help ensure that organizations remains secure against barrel phishing and other types of cyber attacks. Effective measures include:
IRONSCALES’ self-learning anti-phishing platform uses machine learning to fight barrel phishing and other targeted a malicious-intent based email attacks for you. NLP technology ensures protection against suspicious emails whether they come from sources inside or outside your domain. Warning banners alert about threats and make it quick and easy for C-suite to report suspicious emails and get on with their important tasks.
Beyond the automated and technology-based protections provided by IRONSCALES the platform directly integrates real-world phishing simulation testing and personalized security awareness training to educate employees on advanced identification and prevention best practices.
Learn more about IRONSCALES advanced anti-phishing platform here.
A researcher at IRONSCALES recently discovered thousands of business email credentials stored on multiple web servers used by attackers to host spoofed Microsoft Office 365 login pages.