Meaning of spear phishing in English:

spear phishing


mass noun
  • The fraudulent practice of sending emails ostensibly from a known or trusted sender in order to induce targeted individuals to reveal confidential information.

    ‘spear phishing represents a serious threat for every industry’
    • ‘a spear-phishing attack’
    • ‘Spear phishing is the most popular way to win entry to big companies' systems.’
    • ‘Millions of consumers could still be vulnerable to spear phishing, in which scammers target e-mails to specific people and make it appear as if they came from a company they trust.’
    • ‘Based on the limited information that is currently available, the attack appears to have begun with a so-called spear phishing email that introduced malware onto an IMF desktop.’
    • ‘The attacks used a polished version of a rudimentary technique, called spear phishing, to trick recipients into revealing their e-mail passwords.’
    • ‘Consistent communication to all employees about the risk of social engineering and spear phishing is the first step to reducing risk.’
    • ‘Aside from spear phishing, other tactics that have been noted in targeted attacks include the theft of credentials giving access to systems and networks (eg, VPNs).’
    • ‘We've already spotted spear-phishing campaigns where criminals send emails posing as a legitimate company in order to extract additional personal information.’
    • ‘More of the IT pros in the survey worry about conventional cybercriminal strategies: 45 per cent fear malware infections, and 17 per cent are concerned about spear-phishing campaigns.’
    • ‘These attacks commonly feature a combination of spear-phishing and custom malware.’


Early 21st century from spear and phishing (in which particular individuals are not targeted).