SANS: Phishing Exploits Are The Top Threat

The SANS institute released the results of  a new survey recently, and found that cybersecurity professionals ranked phishing as the number one exploit this year.  Phishing awareness training programs were seen by many as the best defense against phishing, spearphishing and whaling exploits.  Something that was new this year was the reporting of so-called “malware-less” exploits that use “the built-in features of the operating system to turn it against itself without downloading ...

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How Web Addresses Are Spoofed

One of the tactics that I am seeing more often is the clever use of web address spoofing in the web sites and landing pages used in phishing emails.  This sort of spoofing has been used successfully even against people who have been training to detect phishing emails, and to check link destinations (using the hover trick) and double check web addresses in the browser address bar.

Here are some techniques that ...

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How Web Addresses Work

Most of us have been using web addresses for years without really understanding how they work.  Today we are going to try to demystify the web address for you.  Web addresses are basically “rented” for a period of time from a Domain Name Registrar, and are part of the Domain Name System (DNS).  DNS changes the easy alphanumeric domain names we use into numerical IP addresses that computers and web servers ...

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How Hard Is It To Become A Cyber-Criminal?

According to a recent article on Naked Security, not at all hard.  While at Black Hat in Las Vegas, researchers from Sophos gave a presentation that dissected the “Philadelphia” ransom software as a service (SaaS) model.

Anyone can buy the Philadelphia ransomware kit on the Dark Web for $400.  And for this nominal investment, the would-be attacker gets a simple executable file that sets up the whole system automatically. ...

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Email Account Hijacking – Part 4 Prevention and Dectection

Last week we went deep on the subject of just how bad losing control of your email account can be.  Today we are wrapping up the four-part series with solutions to help you prevent email account compromise from happening, how to detect if it has already happened to you, and how to recover if that is the case.

Prevention is the best solution.  Your email account is one of the crown jewels ...

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Email Account Hijacking – Part 3 Extending the Exploit

On Monday and Wednesday we looked at email account hijacking, how it happens, and what can happen after the account is controlled by an attacker.  Today we will see how an attacker could use the beachhead they established in your email account to extend their intrusion.

They have already proven that you are susceptible to phishing and other social engineering exploits.  So sending the victim other phishing emails that allow more access ...

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What Can I Do With A Hijacked Email Account? Part 2

On Monday we opened this discussion about hijacked email accounts, and showed some examples of the phishing tricks that attackers use to get you to reveal your email password.  Today we will explore the many useful and profitable exploits that a compromised email account offers a cyber-criminal or other attacker.

I consider email account compromise to be one of the most personally harmful cyber-exploits.  When another person has access to your email ...

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What Can I Do With A Hijacked Email Account? Part 1

Let’s say I just hijacked your email account.  What can I do with it?

First thing, a hijacker would not announce his or her presence in your account.  Staying undetected is important so you do not change your password.  Depending on what the attacker is doing with your email account, there is a significant probability that you would not know your account was compromised for several days, weeks, or even years!

In order ...

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Weekend Update

FBI Releases Article on Protecting Business Email Systems

05/31/2017 07:45 PM EDT

(***Watch for our 4 part series on Email Account Hijacking starting Monday***)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has released an article on Building a Digital Defense with an Email Fortress. FBI warns that scammers commonly target business email accounts with phishing and social engineering schemes. Strategies for preventing email compromises include avoiding the use of free web-based email accounts; using multi-factor ...

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