Image phishing attacks are a growing threat to businesses, especially enterprises that have gained years’ worth of consumer credibility and trust. Despite the awareness that phishing exists, because they’re so difficult to detect, this scam is still a common issue for sizeable organisations. The best way to protect your business from image phishing attacks is to learn how they work, so you can recognise the emails and avoid falling victim to them.


What is image phishing?


Image phishing is a type of email phishing attack that uses images to trick users into clicking on malicious links. It’s becoming an increasingly popular way to target businesses because it’s not as easy to detect as text-based phishing attacks. Image phishing works by sending an email with a link that looks like it links to a legitimate website, but instead connects users to a page that gathers information about your computer, downloads malware onto it, gains control of your accounts, or persuades you to give up something valuable such as personal information or money.


Can you get hacked by being sent an image?


Cybercriminals can definitely target and hack your device through an image. This new technique by hackers embeds malicious code in the image’s pixels and will infect your computer if clicked on.


Can images carry malware? 


Yes, images can potentially carry malware within them because it’s very easy for cybercriminals to hack and embed malicious content. Malware can cause damage to systems and jeopardise sensitive information such as bank details, passwords, location, and other important data so clicking on images can be dangerous. For businesses, this information can include client and stakeholder data, which can be even more harmful to have compromised.





What are the signs of an image phishing email?


Here are the most common signs to look out for that may indicate you’ve been sent an image phishing email:

  • Suspicious links or attachments
  • Spelling errors, bad grammar and punctuation
  • Improper graphics
  • Use of extreme urgency to convince users to take action
  • An offer that is too good to be true
  • The email is a response to an action that you didn’t initiate
  • Threats
  • Generic, non-personalised greetings
  • Many will go into your spam folder but some can end up in your inbox


How to stay safe from image phishing attacks


  • Educate employees on how to look out for image phishing emails so they can avoid falling prey to them
  • Keep software and computer/smartphone operating systems up-to-date
  • Turn off the automatic image display option on your email platform
  • Delete suspicious-looking emails without viewing them
  • Block the sender of spam and phishing emails
  • Work with professional phishing detection companies like FraudWatch to get extra security from proprietary anti-phishing software


Protect your organisation with FraudWatch


Be proactive with your phishing detection solutions to keep your organisation safe from image phishing attacks and other online fraud threats. At FraudWatch, we specialise in protecting businesses from phishing attacks that could impact brand assets, reputation, and customer trust. Speak with our team to find out how we can best protect your organisation.