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Cofense Blog

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RockLoader Delivers New Bart Encryption Ransomware

June 24, 2016 by Cofense in Phishing

Another ransomware tool has been added to the ever-growing encryption ransomware market with the introduction of the Bart encryption ransomware. Named by its creators in its ransom payment interface as well as in the extension given to its encrypted files, the Bart encryption ransomware has leveraged some distinctive mechanisms for delivery during its early deployments. Furthermore, this ransomware shares some interface elements that evoke the same look and feel used by the Locky encryption ransomware ransom payment interface. In many ways the Bart encryption ransomware is a very mainstream encryption ransomware in both the files it targets for encryption (a...

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Phishing ‘tests’ are… USELESS

June 24, 2016 by Cofense in Phishing

While perusing reddit.com, a well-known social hotbed of ‘intellectual superiority’, I came across the following string: *sigh* Asked by the boss man to phish the team… What I discovered is what appears to be a never ending lamentation on the ‘uselessness’ of phishing tests. I couldn’t agree more.  Phishing ‘tests’ are indeed useless.

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PhishMe Ranked #1 ‘Best Place to Work’ by Washington Business Journal

June 22, 2016 by Cofense in Phishing

PhishMe is proud to announce it has been honored as the best large company to work for in the Washington D.C area, following a prestigious annual employee engagement survey. The Washington Business Journal ranked PhishMe #1 in the ‘large companies’ category, the first time the organization has been honored with the title, having surveyed 85 local firms.

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Phishing and Ransomware Threats Soared in Q1 2016

June 9, 2016 by Aaron Higbee in Phishing

Any hopes, however remote, that 2016 might bring relief from the troubling phishing trends prevalent in 2015 have been conclusively dashed by a thorough analysis of malware threats in the first quarter of this year. Not only has phishing intensified, but it’s also increasingly used to deliver ransomware.

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PhishMe Launches New ‘Active Threats’ Phishing Simulations To Help Combat Ransomware

June 8, 2016 by Cofense in Cofense NewsPhishingPress Releases

Global leader in enterprise phishing defense and intelligence unveils highly anticipated update to help organizations resist Ransomware, Business Email Compromise (BEC) and other timely threats  LEESBURG, VA – London, UK – June 8 2016 – PhishMe Inc., the leading provider of human phishing defense solutions, announced today the integration of critical content into PhishMe Simulator™ to help prepare employees for trending phishing attacks and damaging payloads. The Active Threats update allows operators to quickly utilize phishing templates based on current real-world attacks that are targeting organizations, such as Business Email Compromise (BEC) and Ransomware. Simulating these types of attacks ensures...

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2016 Q1 Malware Review – Available Now

June 1, 2016 by Cofense in Cofense NewsMalware Analysis

Today, our research team released our 2016 Q1 Malware Review, detailing more than 600 Active Threat Reports and the waves of phishing emails that delivered malware to victims across the globe each day last quarter. Among the sea of threats reported, the proliferation of ransomware stood out as one of the most common types of malware used through soft targeting and massively distributed attacks.

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New Tactic Bypasses Existing Security Controls – Most Recent PayPal Phish Reveals Stealthy HTML Attachment

May 25, 2016 by Heather McCalley in Phishing

Incident response is always a cat and mouse game.  Organizations spend heavily on people and technology to help protect their enterprise, while threat actors continue to find new and unique ways to bypass those controls.  We’ve seen this trend continue over time, whether it be with the shift to MHTML files by Locky or the delivery of malicious PowerPoint show files.  The PhishMe intelligence team has noticed another change, this one by the actors who are phishing for login credentials, and their tactics reveal that they are actively working to bypass security controls.

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Ransomware targeting US Congress specifically? Probably not.

May 24, 2016 by Cofense in Phishing

In another highly visible ransomware event, Techcrunch recently reported that Congress was warned about ransomware attacks that were impacting the House of Representatives. While ransomware is by no means new, Congress was warned that these attacks were personalized and are specifically targeting third-party email services such as Yahoo or Gmail. Additionally, Congress was warned that their machine could be encrypted by simply clicking the link within the message.

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Bolek: Leaked Carberp KBot Source Code Complicit in New Phishing Campaigns

May 19, 2016 by Cofense in Phishing

Reuse of infrastructure supporting malware distribution is a well-documented characteristic of online crime and a key way to track and classify threat actors. While it may seem simplistic for monitoring threat actor activities, the IP addresses, domains, hostnames, and URLs contacted by malware tools betray a significant amount of information about threat actor groups. For some malware attacks, it’s possible to determine the threat actor’s identity based on the infrastructure used, but, other times, the lines are blurred because some organizations harbor cyber criminals.

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Spear Phishing with Password Protected Zip Files

November 1, 2011 by Cofense in Phishing

The Slashdot headline this morning reads: Spear Phishing Campaign Hits Dozens of Chemical, Defense Firms What is it about? Simple, the poison ivy trojan wrapped in a password protected ZIP file so it can get past filtering.  Symantec has an excellent analysis of these attacks in a paper titled: The Nitro Attacks: Stealing Secrets from the Chemical Industry by Eric Chien and Gavin O’Gorman.  You can read the entire paper here. “The most recent attacks focusing on the chemical industry are using password-protected 7zip files which, when extracted, contain a self-extracting executable. The password to extract the 7zip file is included in...

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Current events: How news exposes your company to spear phishing attacks

October 11, 2011 by Cofense in Phishing

Like many high-profile events, the passing of Apple’s co-founder and former CEO, Steve Jobs, has initiated a slew of new phishing attacks that are designed to play on recipients’ emotions about the event.  Steve Jobs and Apple themed phishing campaigns are in the wild but more concerning are the spear phishing attacks targeting iPhone users.  PhishMe understands how these events can adversely affect our customers therefore we have released a new phishing simulation theme designed to train susceptible users on how to identify and avoid current event based attacks. -Scott

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User Awareness: A Growing Concern Among Organizations

September 6, 2011 by Cofense in Internet Security Awareness

Phishing has always been a challenge for companies, but in recent months high profile breaches have cast a bright light on a more pressing aspect of the phishing threat – user awareness; or the lack there of! The reason phishing attacks are so effective is because most employees have a basic level of phishing awareness. Companies attending recent events such as Black Hat and SANSFIRE, reiterate a common theme; “we need more effective ways to increase our employees’ awareness to help minimize the success of phishing attacks.” Once thought of as a threat that could be mitigated simply by an...

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Spear Phishing Impersonators: Beware of familiar names from free email services

July 29, 2011 by Cofense in Phishing

There is a common spear phishing tactic that we help our PhishMe customers combat, and that is attackers using familiar names with fake free webmail accounts. The attacker wants to break into Widget, Inc.  The first thing they do is research Widget, Inc., looking business units who may have access to the information assets they are targeting.  Once they have picked their target, they need familiar names to make their spear phish more enticing to the eventual victim. They will pick a real name inside of Widget, Inc, that will serve as the From: line of the spear phishing email. Sometimes...

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Phishing and Spear-Phishing and APTs, oh my!

April 22, 2011 by Cofense in Phishing

With all of the media coverage on the recent flurry of successful phishing attacks targeting RSA, Epsilon’s clients and their customers, and Oak Ridge, it’s come to our attention that the fire hose of terms might leave some people confused.  We thought it might be a good opportunity to explain what some of these terms are (and aren’t). Phishing Phishing essentially boils down to an adversary tricking a victim into doing something. Email is, by far, the most common medium used but others are certainly possible (snail mail, telephone calls, etc.). A traditional consumer email phish is what most of...

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RSA breach: Lessons Learnt

April 18, 2011 by Cofense in Internet Security AwarenessPhishing

Most of you have probably heard about the “RSA hack” by now. It was hot news three weeks ago when an employee at RSA fell prey to a targeted phishing attack as explained in this blog post: http://blogs.rsa.com/rivner/anatomy-of-an-attack/ . A couple of issues highlighted in this article really caught my attention. The article states – “These companies deploy any imaginable combination of state-of-the-art perimeter and end-point security controls, and use all imaginable combinations of security operations and security controls. Yet still the determined attackers find their way in. What does that tell you?“.  That tells me that technology by-itself is...

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Solve spear phishing with another appliance?

April 15, 2011 by Cofense in Phishing

Have a spear phishing problem? You are not alone.  Spend some time at the excellent contagio malware dump blog: http://contagiodump.blogspot.com/ So how is the multiple racks of endpoint security malware detection equipment protecting you today? If namelist.xls was emailed into your organization, how would you fare? http://www.virustotal.com/file-scan/report.html?id=9071f0b9b1e428cf4703b1e8988abaff70a6fbd6c3e0df7aaf4d1b6741a5341c-1302813557

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Education vs. Technology

April 14, 2011 by Cofense in Internet Security Awareness

Trusteer recently released a study containing the results of a spear phishing test against 100 LinkedIn users. Their findings had a 68% failure rate. While a 68% failure rate seems high, it is not an unusual number for a group that has received no prior education or training in how to spot phishing – or at least training that is meant to be effective. We know this based on having sent well over a million spear phishing emails to employees of corporations across multiple industry verticals. Trusteer, a company that specializes in the creation of information security software products, stated...

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Rebirth

April 12, 2011 by Cofense in Internet Security Awareness

This is the official rebirth of our blog. For a while now, this blog lay dormant, while the team at PhishMe was anything but. Sales and Marketing has been trying to keep up with the interest while Dev, Operations, and support have consistently delivered the most cutting edge phishing awareness services on the market. It’s a pity the blog hasn’t kept up because we have a lot of interesting thoughts and statistics to share, better late than never. Stay tuned for the latest on phishing news, our lessons learnt from successfully training people to thwart targeted phishing, and anything else we feel like rambling...

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RSA Conference: Circus of Vendors

April 16, 2008 by Rohyt Belani in Phishing

In past years I never attended the RSA conference; it always came across as too much of a vendor show to me. This year I didn’t think I would go, until rsnake convinced me otherwise. So I bought myself an Expo Only pass. I had a lot of fun, meeting old time buddies from Foundstone and Mandiant, a bunch of clients, and partners. But I had the most fun just watching the show on the Expo floor. Must have been 300 booths and a gazillion sales people swarming them with those annoying mics trying to outspeak each other like barkers outside...

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