Want to Explore Common Types of Email Threats: Dig In Here!

types of email threats
Published By Anurag Sharma
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On April 18th, 2020
Reading Time 6 Minutes Reading
Category Forensics

Nowadays, everyone including organizations, users, etc. are worried about the security of their data. Most of the organizations are protecting their data with powerful security applications by paying a lot of bucks. To protect data is always the best approach! Therefore, it is vital for the users to know about different types of email threats.

However, most users are not aware that email security threats are the top threats to an organization’s cybersecurity. The cybercriminals use a variety of email-based attacks to deliver malware, attract victims to malicious websites, steal confidential and sensitive data.

Thus, to protect business as well as personal data one has to know types of common email threats thereby taking necessary preventive measures for the same. Doing this will enable to efficiently protect data and avoid vulnerabilities & its associated risk.

In order to implement this task in an effective way, one must need to understand the current email threats first and then apply protection policies. In the upcoming section, we are going to explain different types of email threats and attacks to provide more knowledge about the threats. This will help the users to handle and fight with the email threat in a perfect way.

Common Types of Email Threats

Let Us Check Out Various Types of Email Security Threats!

Email is a universal service used by over a billion people worldwide. However, from the past few years, email has become a major vulnerability to users and organizations. Thus, to protect the organization from email based attacks, one should know about current email virus threats. If the user knows which email threat is affecting his/her organization, then only the individual will be able to take adequate measures to deal with that email threat. Thus, in the below-mentioned section, different types of email threats are discussed.

So, let’s have a look at each one of them in detail!

Threat 1: Ransomware: Its Name Says It All

Basically, Ransomware is a type of malware program which is a commonly delivered threat through email. It is also referred to as “crypto-Trojan, crypto-worm, or crypto-virus”. This malware program encrypts the victim’s data and demands a fee to restore it.

To be more precise, one can also say that Ransomware infects, locks or takes control of the system and demands a ransom to undo it. Ultimately, if the email ransom threat hits the system then the victim has to pay the ransom to recover the data.

Threat 2: Phishing: Not Same As Fishing!

One of the most commonly occurring fraudulent act is a Phishing email attack, which is another type of email threat. In Phishing, the victim’s private and sensitive data is acquired such as personal identification, credit card numbers, account credentials and much more.

With the help of complex social engineering techniques and computer programming expertise, phishing websites attract email recipients. As a result, web users believe that the fake/spoofed website is a genuine one. In reality, the phishing victim later realizes and discovers that his/her personal identity or other important information has been stolen or leaked. This phishing threat includes extremely legitimate-looking emails such as emails from banks or reputed organizations.

The email may appear to be sent from Google or another reliable company, which will often request the user to click on the link to log in and update information. Due to the lack of knowledge, most of the people provide their personal information and get stuck in the web of fake websites. As suggested avoid phishing scams through possible defence mechanism.

Threat 3: Spear Phishing: More Targeted Form of Phishing!

The spear phishing email attacks are highly customized and focused on a particular individual or an organization. Moreover, the cybercriminals perform extensive research to make their emails appear genuine.

For instance, the criminals will appear to be legitimate colleagues, business partner, or even superiors. An email arrives from a trustworthy source apparently, but instead, it leads the innocent recipient to a fake/bogus website full of malware. Such email based attack often use clever tactics to get the victim’s attention.

This is how spear phishing attack works!

Threat 4: Spoofing: Act of Tricking Someone!

A malicious practice in which communication is sent from an unknown source disguised as a source is known to the receiver is referred to as ‘Spoofing’. This activity can deliver threats via emails, websites, phone calls or it can be more technical such as computer spoofing an IP address, Address Resolution Protocol, etc.

Basically, it is a common email threat or fraudulent act that is used to gain access to the victim’s personal information. This can be done through bypassing network access controls, spreading malware through infected links or attachments, or redistributing traffic to conduct a denial-of-service attack.

Threat 5: Whaling: Business Email Compromise

Whaling is a phishing email attack that targets the organization’s biggest fish. In simplified words, individuals having high profiles are being targeted within an organization such as senior executives. It also includes targets such as celebrities, politicians, etc.

It is a type of social engineering scam where an attacker sends an email-based threat to someone in the organization which is capable to execute a financial transaction. The email looks as if, it is being sent by a CEO and requests an immediate financial transaction such as a direct deposit, wire transfer, vendor payment, etc.

Threat 6: Key Loggers: Associated with Keyboard Keys!

A keylogger is a piece of software, a hardware device that logs every key that the user press on his/her keyboard. It is a common current email threat which captures passwords, personal messages, credit card number and everything else that is typed by the user. Keylogger is one of the effective methods used by criminals to obtain IDs and passwords.

Hope, You Understood About Different Types of Email Threats!

For every person whether a home user or a company’s owner, security is an important concern. One must know about current email security threats that can harm the data and lead to vulnerabilities.

With this write-up, we have introduced different types of email threats which can affect the user’s data, business, or company in a harmful way. The user must know all possible email threats so that he/she can take immediate security measures without any further delay.


By Anurag Sharma

Tech enthusiast & cyber expert for the past 5 years. Love to solve complicated scenarios to counter cyber crimes with in-depth technical knowledge.