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Woman in the office near computers receiving a vishing call.

Vishing is a phishing attack that uses phone calls or voice messaging to incentivize victims to click malicious links, download harmful attachments, or to give out sensitive data. This attack strategy is another way for hackers to leverage the success of phishing campaigns and target individuals and businesses with a threat vector that can take them by surprise. In a vishing attack, malicious actors can pretend to be trusted individuals associated with a service the business uses to have users tell them login credentials or access malicious resources that allow for further attacks. These attacks lean heavily on social engineering tactics to be successful, but with the right knowledge employees can identify and appropriately respond to malicious calls!

Vishing Attack Strategies

Bad actors will begin vishing attacks by accumulating phone numbers to call. They do this by conducting cyberattacks that gain access to phone numbers, blindly calling business numbers, or purchasing large databases of numbers from the dark web. Once the attackers have phone numbers, they use software to make many calls quickly, and this software helps them mask their caller ID and appear to be a local number. Once someone picks up the phone and confirms their number as active, attackers will try to scam the person by pretending to be from a credit card agency, bank, or other institution. A successful attack will have a victim provide sensitive data or access compromised websites.

Identifying Vishing Attacks

Vishing attacks can be easy to identify if the right warning signs are understood. While many malicious actors will try to be friendly in their vishing call, employees should avoid providing information to callers before verifying their identity. Even if an attacker knows pieces of information about the person or company, users should request contact information for the caller’s employer or point of contact to verify their identity. If the caller will not provide this information, it is likely they have malicious intent. Other red flags to look for include calls that demand immediate action or callers that threaten legal consequences if their demands are not complied with immediately.

Mitigation Strategies

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The best mitigation strategies for preventing vishing attacks involve creating a culture of strong cybersecurity. Employees should know not to divulge any personal or company data over the phone and request callers contact them through other means, such as email. It is also a good idea to let calls from unknown numbers go to voice mail because trusted callers will leave a message with their name and information for a return call. Even if an unknown caller leaves a voice mail, unfamiliar numbers should still be verified, and employees must only call a number back once they can confirm the call is legitimate and can be trusted.


Vishing attacks occur when bad actors use phone calls or voice messages to trick employees into divulging information or accessing malicious content. They can be identified if employees know how to handle callers requesting information and recognize that scare tactics or topics of urgency are common red flags for this attack type. To help prevent these attacks, users should know to not engage with unknown numbers and limit the information they give out over the phone – even to trusted sources. If your business needs help implementing cybersecurity training to help prevent vishing attacks, then our team here at Robinett Consulting is ready to help find the right tools to educate employees and cultivate a strong cybersecurity culture!

Robinett Consulting

Author Robinett Consulting

At Robinett Consulting, we are your consultative partner who strives to grow your business and have technology truly enabling you. We aim to understand you and your business so that you do what you do best unhindered by your IT.

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