Big Sky “Spear Phishing” Cyber-Attacks

There has been a recent uptick in “spear phishing” cyber-attacks in the Big Sky area. Spear phishing uniquely targets specific individuals or businesses by constructing messages that sound trustworthy. Spear phishing messages may appear to come from trusted individuals with fake email addresses which are created to look similar to someone you know. The content of spear phishing messages may include details about the business you work for, your hobbies, or interests. Spear phishing attacks can come in the form of emails, text messages, or voice calls. Spear phishing attacks may try to get you to reveal sensitive information or transfer money to illegitimate accounts.

There are some simple ways to protect yourself. Beware of messages which create a sense of urgency. Urgency is used to get you to react quickly without thinking of the consequences. Check the email address to ensure messages are coming from legitimate sources. If you receive a suspicious message or phone call, disconnect and call the person or business back from a phone number you know to be correct to verify who is contacting you. Regularly change your password and consider dual factor authentication to make sure your email address doesn’t get compromised. Don’t click on web links unless you know who sent it to you and why. If there is ever a question about the authenticity of a phone call or message, contact your IT department. If you suffer a loss, typically either a monetary loss or identity theft, contact the Sheriff’s Office to report the incident.