Email Security Blog

Calling Foul on March Madness Phishing Threats

March Madness tipped off this week and with all the hype and excitement comes office pools and bracket bets. As you track your round picks, there is one sure bet you need to be aware of — Team Blackhat. Yes, that’s right. March Madness is open season for Team Blackhat — a seedy bunch of cybercriminals and phishing experts who are eager to score big this month, at your expense.

Here are just a few of the plays you can expect to see:

  • Fake NCAA themed websites
  • Counterfeit game day contests and offers
  • Malicious sites housing team scores and stats
  • Phony online office betting pools
  • Pool wager phishing emails
  • Malware infested Adware
  • Fake PayPal links

Employers should also be especially worried as many games are likely to tip-off during work hours. As staff Livestream games or search for scores, your business is left open to all kinds of security risks. Blocking access to legitimate March Madness websites could make matters worse as employees turn to unknown and unsafe websites and email offerings as alternate ways to access game information.

Know the Score: INKY vs. THE BLACKHATS

If you’re a defender, you should always be guarding closely so nothing gets by. The same is true with email security solutions. INKY helps ensure that even the most daring push pass attempts are blocked.

Other email phishing solutions – including your Secure Email Gateway (SEG) – lack the innovation and expertise to catch complex abnormalities in emails. INKY, on the other hand, provides a level of ingenuity that is unlike other email security platforms. INKY proactively and instantly scans inbound, internal, and outbound emails. Using computer vision, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, INKY identifies abnormalities in emails and eliminates phishing and malware threats, even if they are new to the game and have never been seen before. INKY’s email threat protection works on all platforms, including desktop, mobile, email client, and browser.

INKY is the Best Zone Defense

Left unguarded, the Blackhats will find plenty of opportunities to get ahead. Aside from those mentioned above, here are a few other underhanded strategies to be aware of:

Blackhat Strategy:

Using social engineering to target team members who are participating in-game day pools.

INKY Defense:

Immediately after installation, INKY begins to track users' email behavior, establishing a social graph of sender profiles within days. INKY uses stylometry technology to detect anomalies in potentially dangerous emails. INKY performs cluster analysis to decide if the set of attributes of any incoming email fits with the known sender profile. If something is amiss, INKY warns the user it may be an impersonation.

Blackhat Strategy:

Using fake brands and logos to create convincing NCAA phishing emails.

INKY Defense:

INKY is a cloud-based email security platform designed to sees things the way humans do, recognizing logos, brand colors, email signatures, and more. But INKY also sees the millions of things humans can’t, spotting imposters by as little as a pixel. INKY can also match brands (or brand impersonations) to their legitimate domains in order to stop phishing emails coming from malicious senders.

Blackhat Strategy:

Embedding malicious links in phishing emails that lead to credential harvesting traps.

INKY Defense:

INKY identifies and filters out confusable domains, misleading links, cross-site scripting (XSS) URLs, and malicious redirects. INKY’s Active Link Protection knows where an email link should be taking you, as well as where it’s trying to take you. INKY’s Email Assistant shares the real destination of the link in a safe preview screenshot, isolating you from any malicious web page.

Put INKY in your Starting Lineup

Signs of fraud are harder to detect than ever. To truly secure your email and eliminate the threat of phishing and malware, you need a third party’s assistance. That’s where INKY comes in. While you’re enjoying all the fun March Madness brings, INKY will be working hard to keep you and your company safe.

Beat the clock! Schedule your free INKY demonstration so the only hacking you’ll have to worry about is when your free throw shooter is on the line.

Schedule a free demonstration today.


INKY is an award-winning, cloud-based email security solution developed to proactively eliminate phishing emails and malware while simultaneously providing real-time assistance to employees handling suspicious emails so they can make safer decisions. INKY’s patented technology incorporates sophisticated computer vision, machine learning models, social profiling, and stylometry algorithms to effectively sanitize emails, rewrite malicious links, detect and block security threats, mitigate sender impersonation, and more. Cost-effective and powerful, the INKY platform was developed for mobile-first IT organizations and works seamlessly on any device, operating system, and mail client. Learn more about INKY™ or request an online demonstration today.