A simple email marketing trick used by marketers and advertisers to track web users and email recipients have also been abused by cybercriminals and online spies to gather information on possible targets or to improve the efficiency of phishing attacks, both mass and targeted in scope.
“We’ve seen a lot more use of this tactic recently as a probing or information-gathering tool,” by phishers and other cyber criminals, said Donald Meyer of Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.
Pixel tracking is a decades-old email marketing technique that relies on embedding a one-by-one pixel image, usually transparent or of the same colour of the email's background which prevents users from noticing them in most cases. Tracking pixels or web beacons are downloaded when a user opens an email or visits a website unless the user blocks the loading of images inside his emails which lets the advertiser know a user has opened one of its emails.
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