How big of a problem is email phishing? Pretty big. Even Hillary Clinton has received phishing spam – purportedly from Russian hackers. Combing through the thousands of emails from her time in the State Department has revealed that Hillary, the now-Democratic candidate for president, has, like many of us, received her share of phishing messages.
According to NPR’s political news site, “a few of these emails ended up being phishing attempts — the kind of hoax emails we’ve all gotten saying you’ve won a lot of money, and if you click here, you can receive it. Of course, once you click, hackers can access all your computer data.”
Although there was no evidence that Clinton actually clicked on or replied to any of the phishing spam, this type of fraudulent activity shows that anyone is susceptible – even high-level government employees who may be using servers that are ill-equipped to protect their email channel from phishing.
The article suggests that, “this could be an opening to ask Congress for more money to update their systems, and that the current ones were so slow that many employees did work on their personal emails.” Evidently, Clinton agreed. In another of her emails, it was revealed that she, “suggested writing an op-ed publicizing their security concerns.”
Just because people think their digital infrastructure is secure because of who they are or where they work, doesn’t mean it is. Phishing emails can still get through and pose a significant risk. However, using DMARC, an open standard for authenticating inbound email, is the surefire way to dramatically reduce such incidents and keep email inboxes secure.