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Cyber Awareness Training: Real World Examples of Phishing

phishing examples

It’s crucial to examine real-world phishing examples in cyber awareness training for several reasons:

  1. Recognizing Authentic Threats: Real-world examples show employees the types of phishing emails or messages that malicious actors actually use. This helps individuals distinguish between legitimate communications and potential threats.
  2. Understanding Tactics and Techniques: By seeing how phishing attacks are crafted, employees can understand the tactics and techniques used by cybercriminals. This knowledge allows them to be more vigilant and better equipped to identify suspicious signs.
  3. Learning from Mistakes of Others: Reviewing actual cases where phishing attacks were successful can highlight common vulnerabilities and mistakes that others have made. This helps employees learn from these incidents and avoid similar pitfalls.
  4. Reinforcing Training Concepts: Practical examples reinforce theoretical training concepts. When employees see how phishing attacks are executed in practice, it reinforces the importance of cybersecurity practices taught in training sessions.
  5. Creating a Sense of Urgency: Real-world examples can create a sense of urgency and relevance. They demonstrate that phishing attacks are not theoretical threats but real risks that can impact the organization’s security and operations.
  6. Behavioral Change: Studies have shown that exposure to real-world examples increases the likelihood of behavioral change among employees. They become more cautious and proactive in their approach to handling emails and other communications.

Real-world phishing examples provide context, relevance, and practical insights that theoretical discussions alone cannot fully convey. They empower employees to become more aware, vigilant, and effective in protecting themselves and their organization against cyber threats.

With that being said, here is an example of a phishing attack that uses blackmail as the motivtion to receive a bitcoin transactoin and attempts to beguile the user into falsely believing that he or she is in possession of sensitive images have sensitive images of them. Without saying, the phishing attempt is false, and should be sent directly to the spam folder without interacting with the attacker:

Hello there!

Unfortunately, there are some bad news for you.

Some time ago your device was infected with my private trojan, R.A.T (Remote Administration Tool), if you want to find out more about it simply use Google.

My trojan allowed me to access your files, accounts and your camera.

Check the sender of this email, I have sent it from your email account.

To make sure you read this email, you will receive it multiple times.

You truly enjoy checking out porn websites and watching dirty videos, while having a lot of kinky fun.


After that I removed my malware to not leave any traces.

If you still doubt my serious intentions, it only takes couple mouse clicks to share the video of you with your friends, relatives, all email contacts, on social networks, the darknet and to publish all your files.

All you need is $1500 USD in Bitcoin (BTC) transfer to my account.

After the transaction is successful, I will proceed to delete everything.

Be sure, I keep my promises.

You can easily buy Bitcoin (BTC) here:


Or simply google other exchanger.

After that send the Bitcoin (BTC) directly to my wallet, or install the free software: Atomicwallet, or: Exodus wallet, then receive and send to mine.

My Bitcoin (BTC) address is: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX Yes, that’s how the address looks like, copy and paste my address, it’s (cAsE-sEnSEtiVE). You are given not more than 3 days after you have opened this email. As I got access to this email account, I will know if this email has already been read. Everything will be carried out based on fairness. An advice from me, regularly change all your passwords to your accounts and update your device with newest security patches.

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