Phishing is a form of fraud. Cyber criminals use email, instant messaging, or other social media to try to gather information such as login credentials by masquerading as a reputable person. Phishing occurs when a malicious party sends a fraudulent email disguised as being from an authorized, trusted source. The message intent is to trick the recipient into installing malware on his or her device or into sharing personal or financial information.
Spear phishing is a highly targeted phishing attack. While phishing and spear phishing both use emails to reach the victims, spear phishing sends customized emails to a specific person. The criminal researches the target’s interests before sending the email.