Products
Products
Awareness
Detection
Response
Intelligence
About Cofense
About Cofense
Leadership
FAQs for PhishMe Submerge
Registration & Event Information How do I register? Please use the…
Learn More
FAQs for PhishMe Submerge
Registration & Event Information How do I register? Please use the…
Learn More
Free Tools
Free Tools
Create Transparency
Speed Response
Resources
Resources

Cofense Blog

STAY CURRENT ON INDUSTRY TRENDS & COFENSE NEWS

To Get “Left of Breach,” First Know Thyself

September 11, 2017 by Cofense in Cyber Incident ResponseMalware AnalysisPhishing

Part 2 in a series on being “Left of Breach” in the Phishing Kill Chain. In part 1 of this series, we talked about getting front of data breaches by taking proactive steps—everything to the left of the bullseye in the figure shown here:

READ MORE

Human Phishing Defense Tackle Box – PhishMe Intelligence™ and IBM QRadar®

September 8, 2017 by Cofense in Cyber Incident ResponseInternet Security AwarenessThreat Intelligence

PhishMe® and IBM have teamed up to provide security operations with essentials for their phishing defense program. Security teams don’t want standalone security products; they need holistic security solutions and through partner integrations. That’s why PhishMe and IBM have partnered to help enterprise businesses defend against credential-stealing, malware, ransomware, and Business Email Compromise (BEC) phishing.

READ MORE

PhishMe Triage Catches and Mitigates a Phishing Attack on Day 1

September 8, 2017 by Cofense in Cyber Incident ResponseMalware AnalysisPhishing

BY JOHN TRAVISE AND NICOLAS OCTAVIANI PhishMe Triage™ immediately reveals an active, ongoing phishing attack against a new customer during a configuration and deployment.

READ MORE

NanoCore Variant Delivered Through UUE Files

September 8, 2017 by Marcel Feller in Malware AnalysisPhishingPhishing Defense Center

Over the past few weeks, our Phishing Defense Center has observed several emails with malicious PDF attachments that prompt the user to download a .UUE file from Dropbox. UUE files (Unix to Unix Encoding) are files encoded with uuencode, a program that converts binary files to text format for easy transfer while still allowing for the files to be easily opened using Winzip or similar un-archiving applications. When file extensions are not displayed in Windows, the downloaded file looks like any other compressed file (as shown in Figure 1), which makes it harder to spot that this file is indeed...

READ MORE

Want to Get In Front of Breaches? Be Like the Marines.

September 5, 2017 by Cofense in Cyber Incident ResponseInternet Security AwarenessPhishing

Part 1 in our series on being “Left of Breach” in the Phishing Kill Chain. Too often in the information/cyber security industry, we focus our efforts on mitigation of breaches after they occur, relying on incident response teams to find the needles in the haystack. According to “Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life,” (by Patrick Van Horne and Jason A. Riley; Foreword by Steven Pressfield) The Marine’s Combat Hunter training program works on this premise: by understanding what “normal” looks like, we are much more likely to recognize activities and behaviors that...

READ MORE

5 Reasons Hackers Target SMBs—and 1 Free Way to Fight Back

September 1, 2017 by Cofense in Cyber Incident ResponseInternet Security AwarenessPhishing

Last week PhishMe® released PhishMe® Free, a no-cost version of our award-winning anti-phishing solution, to protect SMBs from phishing attacks and resulting threats. A new PhishMe white paper shows the urgent need for SMBs to bolster their defenses.

READ MORE

10 Ways to Defend Against Business Email Compromise / CEO Email Fraud Scams

August 31, 2017 by Heather McCalley in Internet Security AwarenessMalware AnalysisPhishing

Cybercriminals continue to successfully hack and spoof emails to impersonate supervisors, CEOs, and suppliers and then request seemingly legitimate business payments. Because the emails look authentic and seem to come from known authority figures, many employees comply. But later they discover they’ve been tricked into wiring money or depositing checks into criminals’ bank accounts.

READ MORE

The Newest Delivery Method for the Locky Ransomware

August 29, 2017 by Cofense in Malware AnalysisPhishing

Since its introduction in early 2016 and throughout this year, the distribution of the Locky ransomware has been overwhelmingly facilitated by attached script applications written in JScript or Visual Basic. These script applications have been delivered as the content of an attached archive such as a Zip or RAR file delivered as part of the email messages.

READ MORE

Locky Ransomware Keeps Returning After Repeated Absences

August 23, 2017 by Cofense in Malware AnalysisPhishing

It seems that each time the information security community is ready to declare the Locky ransomware dead and gone, phishing threat actors launch new campaigns with new characteristics. Locky’s presence on the threat landscape dates back to February 2016 when this malware formalized and matured the ransomware business model in phishing emails. Coupled with a tenacious distribution strategy, Locky dominated the phishing markets throughout 2016. Since early 2017, Locky’s presence on the threat landscape has been far more tepid. Its subdued presence on the threat landscape and intermittent distributions led to rumors that Locky was a thing of the past;...

READ MORE

Zeus Panda’s Modular Functions Provide Insight into Botnet Malware Capabilities

August 21, 2017 by Cofense in Malware AnalysisPhishing

One core element of the information security mission is the successful assessment of the risk posed to an organization by a malware sample or malware variety delivered by a phishing email. In 2017, phishers have embraced the use of adaptable and flexible malware to gain initial footholds in a network before monetizing the infected host. The intersection of these two missions creates a scenario in which open-ended, adaptable botnet malware challenges information security professionals to prepare for a wide array of malware capabilities–in some case without much insight into the real risks posed by a malware tool. However, in some...

READ MORE

There’s threat data and then there’s threat intelligence, do you know the difference?

May 20, 2014 by Cofense in Threat Intelligence

The intelligence-led security approach is gaining traction in corporate security circles.  However, we’ve noticed that the term threat data is often confused with threat intelligence. It’s an easy mistake to make, yet very important to distinguish between the two – one represents the “old way of doing things,” while the other brings about a new era in corporate security and brand protection. In this article, we’ll discuss threat intelligence and how it differs from threat data. The Difference between Threat Intelligence and Threat Data #1: Threat intelligence is verified. Threat data is just a list. Modern threat intelligence has been...

READ MORE

GameOver Zeus: Three Things You Should Know

April 2, 2014 by Cofense in Malware Analysis

The Zeus banking Trojan is a popular topic in the security world these days. It’s not new, but it still garners attention as one of the most successful and prolific Trojans in use today. Banking Trojans hide on infected machines and intercept activity related to the user’s finances—bank account logins, investment information, even purchases on sites like eBay. This differs from phishing. With phishing, an end user is infected with a banking Trojan like Zeus, but they are not directed to a fake website and made to believe they are logging in to an official website. Instead, he or she...

READ MORE

Top Phishing Concerns of DNS Providers

August 29, 2013 by Cofense in Internet Security AwarenessThreat Intelligence

Twitter and the New York Times were hacked this week, which means that they have officially joined the ranks of other major news organizations, including the Financial Times and Washington Post who have been targeted by hackers over the past few months. So, how’d it happen? Three things: hacker groups, DNS providers and spear phishing. The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) appears to be taking credit for this attack, as their logo was prominently displayed at NYTimes.com when the site was compromised. The SEA, a hacker group, protesting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, launched the attack in order to generate high profile awareness...

READ MORE

An untapped resource to improve threat detection

July 31, 2013 by Cofense in Internet Security AwarenessThreat Intelligence

Speaking in front of the House Committee on Special Intelligence earlier this year, Kevin Mandia (CEO of Mandiant) remarked that, “One of the most valuable resources in detecting and responding to cyber attacks is accurate and timely threat intelligence.”  Despite its value, many organizations don’t have a way to get timely threat intelligence. How can organizations improve in this area? If you know anything about us, it probably won’t shock you that we’re encouraging enterprises to focus on their users as a source of real-time threat intelligence. Given that the vast majority of targeted attacks focus on the end user...

READ MORE

Royal Baby Spam and Malware Attack Happening Now

July 25, 2013 by Cofense in Malware Analysis

It’s unfortunate, but when the general public is captivated by a certain news story, cybercriminals are hard at work exploiting the publicity that the news attracts. Exploitation can take many forms. In the cybersecurity space, we often see fake news stories about trending topics floating around. Fake news is becoming a serious problem. It is becoming harder to differentiate fake news from real news. Those fake news stories often have one sole purpose. To trick Internet users into clicking on a malicious link. Such is the case right now. The public is captivated by content about the new royal baby...

READ MORE

Build Phishing Countermeasures to Protect Your Brand

May 22, 2013 by Cofense in PhishingThreat Intelligence

Corporations fight phishing each and every day. Large and recognizable financial institutions, retail companies, internet service providers/telecommunication companies are among those most heavily targeted victims of phishing. While the aftermath of a phishing attack is costly and yields long-term consequences, it’s quite difficult to keep up with cybercriminals. It’s shockingly easy for cybercriminals to create a phishing site targeted at your brand, so easy that the cybercriminal simply needs to unpack and upload a pre-built “phishing kit” in order to create a new phishing website. Just one phishing kit can produce hundreds of phishing URLs. With just a few clicks...

READ MORE

Defining a Sophisticated Attack

March 18, 2013 by Aaron Higbee in Internet Security AwarenessThreat Intelligence

What do nearly all of the recent high-profile data breaches have in common? They have all been traced to sophisticated threats and cyber criminals. While there are many disagreements in the security industry, after every significant breach nearly everyone agrees that it was sophisticated (Twitter, Apple, and the Department of Energy are some of the unfortunate organizations to be compromised by a sophisticated attack recently). On the surface, it isn’t hard to see why. First, technology vendors need attackers to be super sophisticated, because simple tactics couldn’t circumvent their products, right? For victims of a breach, it is advantageous for...

READ MORE

What Trend Micro’s research means for organizations

November 29, 2012 by Rohyt Belani in Malware AnalysisPhishingThreat Intelligence

Trend Micro has just published research confirming what we at PhishMe already knew – spear phishing is the top threat to enterprise security. Trend Micro’s report estimates that spear phishing accounts for 91% of targeted attacks, making it the most prevalent method of introducing APT to corporate and government networks. Industry recognition of the severity of the dangers posed by spear phishing is always a positive development, but merely acknowledging the problem doesn’t provide a solution. Fortunately, many of the underlying issues Trend Micro identifies are problems PhishMe is already helping our customers address.

READ MORE

Machines v/s Humans: Who Do You Think Is More Intelligent?

June 9, 2011 by Cofense in Cyber Incident ResponseThreat Intelligence

As the barrage of security breaches continues, Citigroup is the latest victim. This eWeek article: http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/Citigroup-Credit-Card-Portal-Breach-Compromises-200000-Customers-461930/ discusses the potential impact of this attack.   One of the commentators brings up the topic of phishing.   Hannigan, the CEO of Q1 labs, rightly points out that  “Security trust means more than just making sure you’re in compliance with regulations,”. On the other hand, some of the quotes, like that from Anup Ghosh, co-founder of Invincea has a blatant technology solution vendor bias. He discounts human intelligence when referring to customers in this quote – “it’s not reasonable to expect them to differentiate...

READ MORE

If it Looks Like a Phish, Acts Like a Phish, it Could Be Malware

August 20, 2014 by Cofense in Phishing

Most of us are familiar with the common idiom “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it is probably a duck.” Despite criminals’ constant efforts to change their techniques and tactics, this idiom usually holds true for online crime. Phishers have characteristic techniques in just the same way that malware writers and distributors employ specific tactics. These two don’t often overlap. However, when they do, it makes for a spectacularly effective attack. This week, PhishMe’s analysts uncovered spam emails distributed by the Cutwail spamming botnet using a new JP Morgan Chase spam...

READ MORE

An IRS Rebate That Isn’t Worth It: Phishing Tactics Repeat Themselves

August 13, 2014 by Cofense in Phishing

It’s about the time of year when people should be receiving tax refunds from the IRS, which gives attackers a great opportunity to craft phishing emails. PhishMe users recently reported a round of phishing emails purporting to be from the IRS about tax refunds:

READ MORE

Small but powerful — shortened URLs as an attack vector

July 31, 2014 by Cofense in PhishingThreat Intelligence

Using tiny URLs to redirect users to phishing and malware domains is nothing new, but just because it’s a common delivery tactic doesn’t mean that attackers aren’t using it to deliver new malware samples. We recently received a report of a phishing email from one of our users here at PhishMe that employed a shortened google URL, and led to some surprising malware. Through the power of user reporting, we received the report, discovered the malicious nature of the shortened URL, and reported the issue to Google – all within a span of 30 minutes. Google reacted quickly and took...

READ MORE

Phishing: Stop Paving the Cow Path

July 14, 2014 by Cofense in Phishing

Paving the cow path—why are we still using the same technologies to combat modern phishing attacks? When the city of Boston was new and unpaved, the city fathers decided against laying out a regular street plan. Instead, they merely paved the paths that had been worn by cattle. The results? A chaotic and inefficient street plan that lacks logic. The admonition not to “pave the cow path” is supposed to remind us not to enshrine an existing way of doing something. However, when combating phishing, the #1 threat vector in security*, we are paving the cow path. Let’s start with some facts about...

READ MORE

The E-ZPass Scam: More Information On This Week’s Attacks

July 11, 2014 by Cofense in Phishing

Earlier this week, reports surfaced about a new E-Z Pass scam. The spam campaign used the E-ZPass branding to fool recipients into visiting a malicious website. E-Z Pass is the electronic toll collection system used by several state departments of transportation. The E-Z Pass scam emails are likely to be sent to a large number of individuals who use the system, after all, the toll system is used in many cities. One of the emails we captured is shown in the image below. As you can see, the E-Z Pass scam emails use appropriate branding, and warn the recipient that...

READ MORE

Attackers using Dropbox to target Taiwanese government

July 1, 2014 by Cofense in Internet Security AwarenessThreat Intelligence

While we have previously mentioned cyber-crime actors using Dropbox for malware delivery, threat actors are now using the popular file-sharing services to target nation-states. According to The Register, attackers targeted a Taiwanese government agency using a RAT known as PlugX (also known as Sogu or Korplug). From an anti-forensics perspective, PlugX is a very interesting piece of malware. One of the main ways it loads is by using a technique similar to load order hijacking.

READ MORE

Project Dyre: New RAT Slurps Bank Credentials, Bypasses SSL

June 13, 2014 by Cofense in Internet Security AwarenessThreat Intelligence

When analyzing tools, tactics, and procedures for different malware campaigns, we normally don’t see huge changes on the attackers’ part. However, in the Dropbox campaign we have been following, not only have the attackers shifted to a new delivery domain, but they have started to use a new malware strain, previously undocumented by the industry, named “Dyre”. This new strain not only bypasses the SSL mechanism of the browser, but attempts to steal bank credentials.

READ MORE

The Chances of Becoming a Cyber Victim: A Look at Cyber Safety

June 9, 2014 by Cofense in Internet Security Awareness

What are the chances of becoming a cyber victim? In this post, we’ll explore the odds compared to the chances of other unrelated events. Many of us take comfort in knowing that certain bad things are not likely to happen to us, so we don’t worry too much about those things. We think our chances are pretty good. Comforting Odds:  Dying from a shark attack: 300,000,000 : 1 Your opponent’s getting a Royal Flush in poker: 649,739 : 1 Being struck by lightning in California: 7,538,382 : 1 A meteor landing on your house: 182,138,880,000,000 : 1 Dying from a mountain lion...

READ MORE

An inside look at Dropbox phishing: Cryptowall, Bitcoins, and You (updated)

June 6, 2014 by Cofense in Phishing

Post Updated on June 10 On Monday, I wrote about attackers using phishing attacks to deliver malware via links to Dropbox. Today, we received another wave of these emails with slightly different subject lines. Figures 1, 2, and 3 show the variants that were received by us in the latest campaign, and reported by our internal users. In this campaign, 10 of our users were targeted.

READ MORE

Beware of phishing emails using Dropbox links

June 2, 2014 by Cofense in Phishing

Several weeks ago, I wrote a blog entry about phishing emails using zip files with executable files attached to them. Using PhishMe Reporter, several of our users (yes, we use our own tools internally) successfully identified a new round of phishing, this time using Dropbox links in the body.

READ MORE