What Is Whaling Phishing | a Complete Guide for the Officials

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Are you an executive, a manager or just simply work for an organization? If the answer is yes, then the following article will be beneficial to you in regards to ongoing phishing attacks that you may have heard of. You can learn more about preventing Phishing attacks by following this article. Today, we will talk about a particular phishing attack, known as whaling phishing, which is responsible for many cyber-theft like DDoS attacks, Ransomware attacks, etc that occur in different sections of an office. Whaling phishing has become so severe in recent times that no organization can be indifferent to this reality. That’s why it is imperative that the officials learn a bit about this phenomenon. So, what Is Whaling Phishing? Let’s start with the definition, then to the method of working and more insides into the matter.


What is Whaling Phishing?

Whaling phishing is one kind of cyber-attack that targets big personnel like the CEO or senior manager of an organization. To ensure personal security on the internet, we suggest you set up your PC security in the right way. Cybercriminals are aware of the fact that the high officials are the ones who take all the major decisions and they generally possess the most valuable information. No organization can afford to give away its internal matter to the competitors. Once any strategy regarding the production process or internal financial matter is leaked to the hackers, the company loses both in terms of money and goodwill.

There are thousands of employees in an organization among whom only high officials are targeted by hackers. They are regarded as ‘big fish’ by hackers. A lot of research and following goes around the targeted official. E-mail is used in most cases for trapping one. Phone calls or text messages can also be media for communication. Whatever the way it might be the most notable things are that a sense of urgency is expressed and some financial inquiries may occur. You should use the best web hosting security for your business.

The spoofed mail may or may not contain a link that can redirect one to the hacker’s website upon clicking on it. But in the case of whaling phishing, this method has become cliché in recent times. The executives of offices are given training for identifying spoofed mails. So, you and your employees should know how security matters in today’s era. The hackers are trying to find more ways for tricking them; more complicated and accurate ways. The hackers tend to make a look-a-like email as if it was sent from a higher authority; so the mail becomes believable to the ‘whales’ and therefore falls into the trap of the criminals.

How Does Whaling Phishing Work?

The cyber-criminal targets a specific high official of a corporate office. The individual is followed by the criminal intensively on social media like Facebook or LinkedIn. Many people open up about their personal information e.g. birthdate, residence, e-mail address, or even phone number on these sites. Therefore, the job of the cyber-criminal or hacker becomes much easier. He/she uses this information for contacting the targeted individual. The hacker also follows the whale closely in several other ways; he/she may find another employee in the office for giving such information which only close associates can know.

The hacker then poses himself as boss of that particular whale and sends mail demanding vital data regarding the internal affairs of the company. Most often the hacker (or the disguised boss) may ask about the company’s bank account number, payroll list, secret ingredients, financial transaction, etc. via the mail. A link can also be attached with the mail; one may be redirected to the spoofed website where one may lose the login credentials; moreover, malware can be installed on the computer upon clicking on the link which ultimately leads to the security breach. All of these activities are carried out basically for one purpose i.e. for thieving money from the account of the organization.

How Does Whaling Phishing Differ From Other Phishing?

You may have already known that general phishing does not target an individual, rather the mass people. Thousands of generic emails are sent to thousands of people in hope that some of them will take the bite.

There are some phishing for the like of spear phishing that is targeted towards specific individuals. This type of phishing requires following and gathering information about the individuals before bombarding an attack.

On the other hand, whale phishing is more related to spear-phishing rather than general phishing. It also involves intensive following of an individual, the only difference is that whaling phishing targets towards a high-level official, not a random one. Whale phishing is also called CEO fraud because it is related more to the executives of the office than to the other employees.

Who are the Criminals?

If you are a chief executive or a manager of an organization you must be aware of the potential cyber-criminals who can harm your company’s reputation. The criminals can be both from inside and outside of the company. Your company’s competitor may hire someone for gathering vital information from you. Even your employee can’t be trusted fully either. Anyone from your company can partner with the competitor company for evil doings. Follow this link to know how you can manage a virtual team properly.

What are the Consequences of Whale Phishing?

Just think about a case where you as an executive give away your company’s bank account number mistakenly to an outsider. What can happen then? The scenario is obvious; your company’s financial status will be hurt greatly. Or, in another case where your company’s secret information is handed over to the competitor company; here the financial loss may not be directive but its consequence is even worse. The company will lose its market to the competitor one and therefore will lose reputation in the long run. Your skill, as an executive, will come under question and you may eventually lose the job. You can implement a time-keeping system to track your employees properly.


The victims of whaling phishing have to pay a heavy price like any other phishing. The world of phishing is increasing day by day along with the skills of hackers. Hence your knowledge should be capable enough countering any phishing attack; I hope the article was helpful in understanding this specific whaling phishing and you know all about what Is Whaling Phishing. You should also choose the best internet service for your business.

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