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Blank Emails Could Just Be a Different Type of Threat

Blank Emails Could Just Be a Different Type of Threat

Phishing attacks are the most common attack vector used by hackers, and while it helps to know what a phishing attack looks like, it’s also good to know what they don’t look like. The latest example of a phishing attack takes this to an extreme, utilizing blank messages to confuse recipients in a creative take on phishing attacks.

How Blank Emails Can Help Hackers

Imagine for a moment that you’re in the shoes of a hacker. You don’t have a ton of time or money to craft some elaborate spam campaign, and you want to make sure that you’re using an effective and efficient method of targeting as many victims as possible. Blank emails are the perfect solution to this, and not for the reason you might expect.

See, blank emails give attackers an idea of who might be the most susceptible to specific types of attacks. It’s quite sinister if you think about it.

For example, let’s say that a scammer sends out an email with some nonsensical characters in the subject line. They might do this to see if the email will get kicked back to them and to see if the recipient exists. If they do, then the hacker knows that’s an email address they can exploit later. If the hacker gets a read receipt from the message, then the hacker also knows that the individual is checking and opening messages like that.

In other cases, a hacker might send a blank email with a subject line that actually makes sense. The recipient might then respond, wondering what’s going on with the message or follow up for more information. This opens them up to further targeting by the hacker.

In all of these scenarios, the outcome is the same: the scammer/hacker knows that they have an email address that is susceptible to their phishing attacks.

The blank email, when used like this, can be used as a tool to find potential victims who will yield results. Spam emails are an effective vector for launching these attacks, and botnets only serve to exacerbate the issue.

Share These Ideas with Your Staff

When it comes to cybersecurity, in a lot of ways, knowledge is power. You can help your team avoid potential threats simply by telling them that they exist and fostering in them the skills they need to identify and avoid falling for the tricks. To learn more about how we can help you in this mission, call us today at (410) 531-6727.

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