Let’s play a game: what is wrong with this picture?

If you’re like me and only skimmed it, you would probably have not noticed anything off. In fact, what I did notice was cPanel warning me that the (redacted) domain in question was reaching the limit of the allowed space. OK cool, I added it to my Todo app and went on with my life.

2 days go by and I feel it’s time to check this item off my list. I log into cPanel and notice that the it’s no where near the maximum capacity. Puzzled, I pulled up the email to take a closer read and that’s when I saw the signs of a phishing attempt:

  • The From header displayed an email that was not my hosting provider.
  • the 2 links in the email do not go where the text would have you believe.

Had I clicked any of these links I would likely have been brought to a page that would legitimately look like my web host. It would have asked for my username and password and send them directly to the scammers who would then be able to access my hosting account. Not good at all.

We’re all busy; rushing about increases the chance that we make mistakes. Scammers don’t care, in fact they precisely prey on the possibility that we’re too busy to notice a scam. I didn’t notice this one at all but I’ve conditioned myself to not click links in emails unless I know they’re safe and it’s absolutely necessary. That’s why I opened a new tab to log into cPanel.

Plan for failure

What can you set up in advance to mitigate the possibility that you don’t see a phishing attempt? In my case, it was to not click links in emails and manually go to the directed location myself. It’s an extra step, but it’s also an additional safety precaution.