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Quishing: The Quiz-Based Cyber Threat You Didn’t See Coming

Quishing emerges from the cyber threat labyrinth, a deceptive newcomer cloaked in the guise of innocent quizzes and games. Its name may evoke a sense of quaintness, yet the danger it poses is anything but trivial. This cyberattack entices victims with the allure of entertainment, only to pilfer personal data when their guard is down. Join us as we delve into the mechanics of quishing and equip you with the strategies to safeguard your digital life.

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What Exactly Is Quishing?

Quishing is a portmanteau of "quiz" and "phishing," and it's exactly what it sounds like. Cybercriminals craft engaging quizzes and games that pop up on social media, in emails, or through messaging apps. They often promise insights into your personality, future, or even intellectual prowess. However, the real goal is to trick you into divulging personal information that can be used for nefarious purposes.

The Mechanics of a Quishing Attack

A typical quishing scenario might look something like this:

You see a quiz shared by a friend on social media, titled "What Game of Thrones Character Are You?" Intrigued, you click. The quiz asks for your birthdate to "ensure you're matched with a character from the right era." Then, it requests your email to send you the results. Without realizing it, you've just handed over pieces of your digital identity.

Quishing in Action: UK Case Studies

The UK has seen its fair share of quishing attempts. In one notable incident, a seemingly benign quiz spread across Facebook, asking users for their mother's maiden name under the guise of discovering their "Star Wars name." This piece of information is a common security question for bank accounts and other secure services. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in the UK has repeatedly warned citizens about such social engineering tactics, emphasizing the importance of guarding personal data.

Research has shown that people are more likely to trust content shared by friends. Attackers exploit this trust by designing quishing attacks to spread virally across social networks, as noted by a study from the University of Cambridge on social phishing.

Recognizing Quishing Attempts


Quishing can be disarmingly subtle, but there are telltale signs:

  • Too Personal, Too Fast: If a quiz is asking for information that feels overly personal or irrelevant to the topic, it's a red flag.

  • Urgency to Share: Many quishing quizzes encourage you to share results or the quiz itself, aiming to spread their reach.

  • Professional Disguise: Quishing attempts often mimic the look and feel of legitimate quizzes from well-known brands or platforms.

How to Protect Yourself from Quishing

Here are some actionable tips to quish-proof your digital life:

  1. Think Before You Click: Take a moment to consider whether a quiz is necessary. What will you gain, and what might you lose?

  2. Check the Source: If a quiz comes from an unknown source or is shared by someone you don't trust, steer clear.

  3. Guard Your Information: Never input information that could be used to answer security questions or access your accounts.

  4. Adjust Privacy Settings: Ensure your social media profiles don't reveal too much. The less information available about you, the better.

  5. Educate Your Network: Share your knowledge about quishing with friends and family. If they're informed, they're less likely to inadvertently spread quishing quizzes.

  6. Report Suspicious Quizzes: If you encounter a quishing attempt, report it to the platform it's hosted on.

In Conclusion

Quishing is a reminder that not all cyber threats come with a glaring warning sign. Sometimes, they're wrapped in the guise of entertainment, waiting for an unsuspecting participant to take the bait. By staying vigilant and informed, you can enjoy the fun parts of the internet without falling prey to its darker corners.

For more insights into protecting your digital footprint, our blog is a treasure trove of resources, from tackling the latest cyber threats to best practices for online hygiene.

Remember, in the world of cybersecurity, knowledge is not just power—it's protection.


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