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Cofense Phishing Prevention & Email Security Blog

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Recent Geodo Malware Campaigns Feature Heavily Obfuscated Macros

August 30, 2018 by Cofense in Malware Analysis

Part 3 of 3 As we mentioned in our previous overview of Geodo, the documents used to deliver Geodo are all quite similar. Each document comes weaponised with a hostile macro. The macros are always heavily obfuscated, with junk functions and string substitutions prevalent throughout the code. The obfuscation uses three languages or dialects as part of the obfuscation process: Visual Basic, PowerShell, and Batch.

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Twin Trouble: Geodo Malware URL-Based Campaigns Use Two URL Classes

August 29, 2018 by Cofense in Malware Analysis

Part 2 of 3 As discussed in our prior blog post, URL-based campaigns – that is, campaigns that deliver messages which contain URLs to download weaponised Office documents – are by far the most prevalent payload mechanism employed by Geodo. Indeed, analysis of ~612K messages shows just 7300 have attachments; a trifling 1.2% of the total. The structure of the URLs falls into two distinct classes. Cofense Intelligence™ analysed a corpus of 90,000 URLs and identified 165 unique URL paths. There are two distinct classes of URLs employed by Geodo. A detailed breakdown of these URL structures follows. 

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Phishing-Specific SOAR Gets You to Mitigation Faster

August 28, 2018 by Cofense in Cyber Incident Response

When a malicious email slips past perimeter tech defenses, you need to find it and respond in minutes, not two or three months. But no one has unlimited budget or staffing to sift through phishing alerts, verify threats, and help stop attacks in progress.

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Into a Dark Realm: The Shifting Ways of Geodo Malware

August 27, 2018 by Cofense in Threat Intelligence

The Geodo malware is a banking trojan that presents significant challenges. For starters, it conducts financial theft on a vast scale and enables other financially driven trojans. Also known as Emotet, Geodo has a rich history, with five distinct variants, three of which are currently active according to Feodo Tracker. Geodo’s lineage is incredibly convoluted and intertwined with malware such as Cridex as well as the later iterations known as Dridex. This blog is the first of a CofenseTM three-part series on Geodo. Our analysis of Geodo focuses not on code analysis, rather on observed behaviours, infrastructure choices and proliferation....

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Ask the DNC: #fakephishing Phishing Pen-Tests Are Still a Bad Idea.

August 24, 2018 by Aaron Higbee in Internet Security Awareness

Cliff notes: Phishing “tests” at best are a waste of time, and at worst, disruptive and weaken your ability to defend against real phishing.

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Another Holiday-Themed Phish: Eid al-Adha is the Pretext for an Agent Tesla Campaign

August 23, 2018 by Cofense in Threat Intelligence

Holidays and global events provide timely material for threat actors to use as phishing lures. This technique is a common practice, and can sometimes be convincing to targets, especially just before a major holiday. On Sunday, August 19, 2018, Cofense Intelligence™ received an Eid-themed phishing email. Eid al-Adha, the Islamic festival/holiday, began this week.

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UPDATE: Necurs Botnet Banks on a Second Bite of the Apple with New Malware Delivery Method

August 22, 2018 by Jason Meurer in Malware AnalysisThreat Intelligence

Last week, Cofense™ research uncovered and broke the news that the Necurs botnet began a highly-targeted campaign aggressively attacking more than 3,000+ banks worldwide with a malicious PUB file that drops the FlawedAmmyy malware. You can read the full analysis in last week’s research blog.

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5 Steps to Targeting Newbies with Phishing Awareness Training

August 21, 2018 by Alexandra Wenisch in Internet Security Awareness

When it comes to phishing awareness training, new hires need special attention. While most may know what phishing is, many won’t have received formal training in recognizing and reporting a phish. This chart shows sample data from a CofenseTM customer whose newbies struggled to spot phishing emails during simulation training. Before they develop bad inbox habits, it’s important to welcome your brand-new users to your training program, especially if your company has fairly high turnover. Following are 5 tips to make the transition smoother and, ultimately, help your security teams stop phishing attacks. Step 1: Announce and Set the Stage...

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The Lazy Man’s Guide to Phishing

August 16, 2018 by Cofense in Phishing Defense Center

By Lucas Ashbaugh Laziness and sloppy work are the twenty first century’s newest business model, and for phishing actors it’s a gold rush. The real winners from modern phishing have taken a chapter out of the entrepreneur’s  handbook: The Lean Startup. For them, phishing isn’t about artisanal fraud and refined skills, it’s about starting cheap, failing quickly, and getting their head back in the game. It’s horrendously brilliant. In a world where SOCs are constantly grinding to block that IP, scan for that hash, disable macros, etc., automated solutions just can’t keep up. When it comes to phishing, speed is king....

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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...

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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...

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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.

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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...

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Tune Your Phishing Defense at Submerge 2017

September 21, 2017 by Cofense in PhishingCyber Incident ResponseInternet Security Awareness

Attention incident responders: PhishMe® Submerge is for you. Submerge 2017, our second annual User Conference and Phishing Defense Summit, offers over a dozen sessions on phishing defense alone. Overall the event will offer 30+ sessions, including another track covering phishing resilience.

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TrickBot Targeting Financial and Cryptocurrency Data

September 21, 2017 by Cofense in PhishingInternet Security AwarenessMalware Analysis

While a great deal of focus for research into botnet trojans is on the multipurpose utility of this malware, many of these same tools are still utilized for direct financial crimes and fraud. This configuration data, provides a prima-facie insight into some of the preferred means for monetary gains by threat actors. An example of this can be found in the most recent rounds of TrickBot malware configurations. These XML documents describe the targeted login pages for online services and the action the malware is to take when a victim visits one. Many of the targeted resources reference the login...

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5 Reasons Our UK Phishing Report Would Make Winston Churchill Scowl

September 20, 2017 by Cofense in PhishingCyber Incident ResponseInternet Security Awareness

The US and UK share a lot of things. History. Political traditions. A language, if one is feeling generous. And now some worrisome phishing data that jumps out of two reports PhishMe® has commissioned, most recently in the UK.

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Endpoint Phishing Incident Response with PhishMe and Carbon Black

September 19, 2017 by Cofense in Threat IntelligenceCyber Incident ResponsePhishing

Hunting Phished Endpoints with PhishMe Intelligence™ and Carbon Black® Response While sipping coffee and reading the morning headlines, the CISO notices a global mass-phishing campaign that took place overnight. Picking up the phone and calling the SOC, the CISO asks; “Are there any computers that may have been infected with ‘X’ that I read about this morning? I need answers before my meeting in an hour”.

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Customized Phishing Simulations Keep You “Left of Breach”

September 18, 2017 by Cofense in Cyber Incident ResponseInternet Security AwarenessPhishing

Part 3 in a series on being “Left of Breach” in the Phishing Kill Chain. In part 2 we looked at Self-Enumeration, assessing security and business process gaps that phishing attackers exploit. It’s the first step in being “Left of Breach” (see figure below), the process that builds a proactive phishing defense strategy.

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Phishing Incident Response: Get Started in 3 Steps

September 15, 2017 by Cofense in Cyber Incident ResponseInternet Security AwarenessPhishing

So, you want to improve your response to phishing threats? Smart idea. PhishMe®’s recent report on phishing response trends shows that phishing is the #1 security concern, but almost half of organizations say they’re not ready for an attack.

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Identity Crisis – The Real Cost of a PII Data Breach

September 12, 2017 by Cofense in Cyber Incident ResponseInternet Security AwarenessPhishing

As the success of phishing attacks continues to broaden and gain traction in the modern news cycle, it’s important that we understand the differences in impacts based on the type of breach.

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Catching Phish with PhishMe Intelligence and ThreatQ

September 12, 2017 by Cofense in PhishingCyber Incident ResponseThreat Intelligence

PhishMe IntelligenceTM Integrates with ThreatQuotient’s ThreatQ Platform Swimming in a sea of threat intelligence indicators and services, security teams have been working towards effective ways to centralize, de-duplicate, and correlate massive amounts of threat data. The challenge, once this is done, is acting on what matters most. This requires intelligence, not just data.

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To Get “Left of Breach,” First Know Thyself

September 11, 2017 by Cofense in PhishingCyber Incident ResponseMalware Analysis

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:

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