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Norton unveils phishing dictionary to identify scams
Fri, 14th Jul 2023

Norton, a consumer Cyber Safety brand of Gen, has released Phictionary, a guide to phishing attacks with a dictionary twist that exposes real-life examples of scams to help people proactively identify fraudulent communications. 

In 2023, scams and phishing attacks have been responsible for two-thirds of all cyberattacks worldwide, according to Gen threat data. Phictionary exists to address this problem with a unique educational approach to phishing detection.

"Consumers are at the centre of modern-day cybercrime. Today, attacks that abuse flaws in the human psyche are outnumbering attacks targeting flaws in software and systems, and this means the approach to Cyber Safety needs to change," says Michal Pechoucek, Chief Technology Officer at Gen.

"It is no longer enough to protect only our devices; we must protect the individual from all forms of online manipulation that intend to steal personal information or spread malware. 

"Artificial intelligence (AI) plays a huge role in this, but so does the human factor of online safety through education. We created Phictionary as part of our ongoing efforts to inform people about the latest developments in cybercrime, and hope that it will help to alleviate human error to improve online safety."

From delivery scams to tax scams to fake offer emails, Phictionary highlights the most common phishing attacks seen today, laid out in classic dictionary form. 

The following are some real-life examples from Phictionary that have been detected and blocked by Norton:

Account Suspension alert kant sspnn / verb 1. A fake message addressed to an individual asking them to complete account recovery within a specific time period otherwise it will result in permanent suspension.
We temporarily place your aal suspended, To restore follow instruction below. <|url|> Please complete the recovery within 2 days otherwise aal account permanently suspended. We are sorry for any inconvenience has caused. Thank you for your attention.

Delivery Mishap alert dlvri mshps / verb 1. A fraudulent message faking an attempted delivery designed to extract personal information from the target.

Our driver attempted to deliver your shipment today but no one was home. To reschedule a new delivery date, visit: <|url|>

Tax Scam tks skm / noun 1. A spoof message masked as a revenue or customs company.
myGov: Your income return of [amount] could not be processed due to insufficient information supplied please update immediately at <|url|>

Pechoucek says in order to help empower people to feel safer in their everyday digital lives, Phictionary also includes a list of the key characteristics of phishing scams for people to learn and refer to if they come across a phishing attack.