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The attack on the @AP Twitter account, which led to a stock market "flash crash" Tuesday, was the latest in a series of hacks called "spear-phishing."
A number of Associated Press employees received an email that appeared to be from a co-worker, but in fact was generated by hackers to fool them into clicking on a malicious link within the email, Slate reports.
As a host of major organizations join the ever-growing list of spear-phishing victims, small businesses will want to be on alert for similar attacks. Here's what you need to know:
What Is Spear-Phishing?
Phishing is a form of hacking that involves malicious emails sent en masse to the general public with generic invitations like "click this link."
Spear-phishing is more specifically targeted and far more sophisticated.
A spear-phishing attempt will typically target employees at a single business, and will tailor its attack by adding personal touches that make the email seem like it came from within the company, The Atlantic explains.
Although these attacks may be harder to spot, there are some telltale signs, such as:
What to Tell Your Employees
Keeping your business safe requires that all employees adhere to a sound online security policy. Business owners may want to instruct their employees to remember a few tips. For example:
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