Friday Phish Fry

Phishing Email Alerts

Catch of the Day: Mail Server Phish
Chef’s Special: Impersonation Phish

Examples of clever phish that made it past my anti-spam nets and into my inbox. Some are contributed by clients or readers like you, and other reliable sources on the Internet.

You can send phishing samples to me at

My intention is to provide a warning and show current examples of phishing scams, related articles, and education about how these scams and exploits work, and how to detect them in your inbox. If the pictures are too small or extend off the page, double clicking the image will display them in a photo viewer app.

Mail Server Phish

Here is another example of a credential stealing scam.  This time the scammer had assembled four of my email addresses for me to choose from.

The phishing email

First landing page

Captcha – nice!

Drop down selector for email account

And password – credential theft accomplished!


Navigating the Masquerade; Recognizing and Combating Impersonation Attacks

With all great power, there comes an equal potential for misuse. Among the sophisticated arsenal of threat actors, impersonation attacks have surged to the forefront, which questions our sense of trust.

Visual technologies, like the new audio-to-visual example of portrait video generation, showcase the stunning potential for creating lifelike animated portraits from a single photo.

However, if creating a speaking, emotive virtual persona is this accessible, how do we distinguish reality from deception? This question is at the crux of today’s cyber defense strategies.

Recognizing and Reporting Impersonation

Impersonation attacks come cloaked in numerous guises, each more convincing than the last. From emails and social media messages to voice and video interactions, the impersonator’s game is one of psychological manipulation, seeking to exploit trust to gain unauthorized access, disseminate misinformation or commit fraud.

Awareness and education are essential in building a robust defense. Just as you would study a magician’s sleight of hand to grasp his tricks, learning the telltale signs of impersonation bolsters your ability to spot them:

  • Inconsistencies in Communication: Watch for atypical language, unusual requests, or deviations from established communication patterns.
  • Urgent or Unverified Requests: Be skeptical of urgent demands, especially those involving money or sensitive information.
  • Mismatched or Manipulated Audio/Visual Elements: If using audio-visual media, look for synchronization issues between audio and visuals, unnatural facial movements or vague backgrounds that might indicate manipulation.

Reporting is equally crucial; if you detect signs of impersonation, your organization must act immediately. Encourage a culture where your users can report any suspicious activity.

The Menagerie of Impersonation Attacks

Let’s explore the common masks worn by cyber tricksters:

  • Email Impersonation: Often called “phishing,” these attacks mimic legitimate correspondence, with attackers posing as reputable entities to extract personal data or credentials.
  • Social Media Deception: Attackers adopt fake profiles or hijack existing ones to manipulate, extort information or spread malware.
  • Voice and Video Impersonation: Advanced algorithms now enable convincingly fake audio and video calls that can dupe individuals into taking detrimental actions.

[CONTINUED] Blog post with links, and learn more in the webinar below:



About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at

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