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Understanding and avoiding baiting attacks

Recently, social engineering is rampant, and cyber attackers are increasingly developing ways to lure victims into traps. One of the most commonly used techniques is feeding.

What is feeding from a cybersecurity perspective? Here are some examples:

  • “Congratulations. You are a lucky winner of the iPhone. Click this link to request.”

  • “Download this premium software for 10 dollars. The offer expires in 2 hours.“

If you use the internet regularly, you come across this kind of news. This is a prime example of a baiting, a type of social engineering attack that can jeopardize your organization’s network security, so we recommend that you do not dig deeper.

What is cybersecurity baiting?

Unlike other types of social engineering, Baiting technique includes promises for items, goods or rewards in order to attract victims, infect systems with malware, and steal sensitive information.

This social engineering method is very easy to use. They are usually attractive offers such as free music and movie downloads, expensive prices, and discounts on premium software downloads.

The baiting attack is not limited to the digital world. It can also occur offline. One of the most common offline baiting attacks occurs through storage media such as flash drives and laptops. An attacker can leave these devices open for use by the victim. In a controlled experiment, the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois, and Google found that 45-98% of people were connecting a USB drive they found.

Tempting attack technique

Tempting nourish human curiosity and greed, and cybercriminals can achieve this using a variety of techniques. Below are some common baiting attack methods to keep in mind:

  • Attractive offer

Cybercriminals have been very successful with attractive suggestions for seducing victims. They send attractive offers to their targets via advertising, social media, email, or free downloadable content. They offer their victims access to free content. These offers are usually difficult to resist.

  • Malware Infected Devices

Another way cybercriminals execute a baiting attack is through malwareinfected USB devices or flash drives. They leave the device in the open such as the company lobby or reception office. Once an employee inserts the flash into their system, it automatically installs malware on the computer and infects the organization`s network.

The attacker can also disguise themself as an employee, then plug the flash in on the targeted computer when no one is looking.

Why is Baiting Efficient?

Baiting is efficient because it exploits greed or curiosity which is inherit part of human nature. People get excited about free stuff, discounts, and special offers, which are often too good to be true. This is how wellset baiting works.

For employees of large companies, being fooled by baiting attacks can cause major problems for the entire organization. Each individual needs to be aware of the scammer’s tricks and learn to protect themselves from being preyed on by baiting attacks.

Baiting Examples

Baiting attacks could be done in different ways, both online or offline.

You may get an email or receive a text from an unknown source claiming you`ve won a lottery, and you just need to provide them with your personal information—which is exactly what cybercriminals are after.

A typical example is when a cybercriminal tells their victims they missed a package delivery. Attackers use victim to get information about home and address.

Detect baiting

Sound skepticism and attention can prevent baiting attacks. Tips for preventing attack do include:

  • Learn to be skeptical about suggestions that seem too good

  • Use antivirus and antimalware software on your computer to detect malicious activity

  • Do not use external devices until you check for malware

  • Establish appropriate network security measures to stop before an incident occurs

4 tips to avoid feeding in cyber security

Human curiosity and greed are inevitable-we all like fascinating offers and gifts. However, care must be taken not to sacrifice food. Organizations need to take various steps to counter such attacks. A successful

Attack can cause financial loss and reputational loss. Here are some tips for avoiding feeding in cybersecurity:

  • Be vigilant

  • Beware of communications that require immediate action. Attackers try to convey a sense of urgency to manipulate your emotions. So slow down and think before you react or take action. A good example is an offer that expires in a few minutes.

  • Cybercriminals can share emails, tweets, posts, and message links to compromise the system or trick victims into exposing sensitive information. If you feel suspicious, you probably shouldn’t enable it.

  • Raise employee cyber awareness

  • Ignorance increases the likelihood of being the victim of baiting and other social engineering attacks. It is impossible to prevent something you are unaware of. The best way to protect your business from baiting attacks is to educate yourself and your employees about baiting tactics and how to prevent them.

Use antivirus software

In some cases, cybercriminals combine baitings and phishing attacks to compromise systems and access sensitive information. Installing and updating anti-malware and anti-virus software is the key to protecting your malware from phishing emails.

From a business perspective, the spread of a virus that leaks a customer’s personal information or sends junk e-mail to a contact can significantly damage the company’s reputation. Prevention is better than cure, so have a system designed to prevent viral attacks.


Like other social engineering attacks, bait is a serious problem that threatens individuals and organizations. Successful baiting attacks can damage a company’s reputation, cause financial loss, and ruin its business.

Organizations need to implement regular cybersecurity programs to teach employees how to recognize and manage baiting and other social engineering attacks to mitigate such damage. Cybercriminals’ tactics are constantly evolving. Therefore, enterprises need to maintain open communication between security departments and employees.