AI-Generated Phishing Emails and How to Identify them

AI-Generated Phishing Emails and How to Identify them

Phishing emails are malicious emails that attempt to guide recipients into providing sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers, and other confidential information. These emails often appear official and legitimate, but in reality, they are carefully crafted to elicit a response and cause a data leak. 

Phishing attempts are becoming more savvy with sophisticated AI technologies that mimic natural human language and tone. Before the widescale use of AI, it was easier to identify potential phishing emails as they often contained grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, or inaccurate information. With the advanced capabilities of Generative AI, hackers can quickly understand brand tone, messaging, and pertinent information. With the advancement of AI language models, traditional indicators of phishing emails no longer apply. More sophisticated and targeted content means highly personalized copy that has well-written grammar and information that is relevant to the recipient. 

However, you can still protect yourself and your company from these phishing attempts. 

We’ve listed out 4 ways you can identify AI-generated Phishing emails 

  • Inaccurate domain and or email address. 
  • This includes inconspicuous text variations that would lead you to believe that the message is reputable—for example, this could look like support@aptimized.c0m. Because AI-generated emails can appear from a trusted source, recipients are more likely to overlook subtle variations like this. 

  • Generic Greetings 
  • Ai-generated phishing emails are often sent in bulk, meaning they typically will not include personalization within the email. Automated phishing campaigns require many outgoing mail attempts, so they capitalize on messaging that applies to all audiences. Be aware of terms like “Dear Customer,” “Hello there,” or  “Attention user.” 

  • Time-sensitive or urgent messaging
  • Cyber Criminals want their targets to act quickly. They encourage fast action by leveraging urgency and encouraging end users to make impulsive decisions. They attempt to elicit fear by using convincing messaging. 

  • Unusual URLs 
  • The goal of these AI-generated phishing emails is to entice you to click on the provided link and gain access to pertinent information. Even if you believe an email is authentic, develop the habit of hovering over any hyperlinks within the email to view the URL without clicking. This will uncover any alarming domain names, suspiciously shortened URLs, or other unusual domain names. 

    As the power of AI continues to develop, it is essential to stay aware and alert of the changing security recommendations. While AI can generate potentially harmful phishing emails, it can also be used to identify and protect you from these attempts. In our upcoming blog posts, we will share more about these identification tools and how you can use them to help amplify your security measures. Contact us here to receive early access to this post.
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