Phishing Boat. CARTOON: Rothstein/Morgan.

Phishing Is All About Baiting The Hook

Hackers use clever subject lines to lure you in

Steve Morgan, Editor-in-Chief

Sausalito, Calif. – Sep. 30, 2020

What do fishermen and phishermen have in common? Bait.

When it comes to phishing scams, hackers are very creative. What will you click on?

FedEx: Sorry we missed you. That clever subject line is a phishermen’s favorite. Out of every ten thousand people who view it in their inbox, there is a percentage who will open the email message and click on a hyperlink — in hopes of tracking down their package.


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Don’t be misled by cyber crooks

Earlier this year, KnowBe4 examined tens of thousands of email subject lines from simulated phishing tests. The organization also reviewed “in-the-wild” email subject lines that show actual emails users received and reported to their IT departments as suspicious. The results are below.

Top 10 General Email Subjects

  • Password Check Required Immediately
  • Vacation Policy Update
  • Branch/Corporate Reopening Schedule
  • COVID-19 Awareness
  • Coronavirus Stimulus Checks
  • List of Rescheduled Meetings Due to COVID-19
  • Confidential Information on COVID-19
  • COVID-19 – Now airborne, Increased community transmission
  • FedEx Tracking
  • Your meeting attendees are waiting!

Be smart. Don’t click. Stay safe.

We’ll be back soon with another cybercrime cartoon.

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Steve Morgan is founder and Editor-in-Chief at Cybersecurity Ventures.

Go here to read all of my blogs and articles covering cybersecurity. Go here to send me story tips, feedback and suggestions.