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

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 users are aware of the new techniques used by phishers and empowers operators with a resource to combat new threats early on.

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

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.

Ransomware targeting US Congress specifically? Probably not.

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.

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

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.

University W2 Phishing and CEO Impersonation

At PhishMe we talk frequently about a familiar concept that cyber attacks and phishing emails are very rarely sent to only one organization. While  security teams tend to focus on threats to your organization, PhishMe Intelligence is watching for email-based threats for EVERY organization. As we were gathering information about tax-related phishing scams this year, we noticed that institutes of higher learning were being hit quite broadly by this year’s W2 related scams.

RockLoader – New Upatre-like Downloader Pushed by Dridex, Downloads all the Malwares

On 4/6, the Phishing Intelligence team came across a wave of phishing emails that contained a .js file packaged inside of a zip file used to deliver malware. This is nothing new, and has been seen being pushed out by resources associated with the Dridex botnet and the Locky encryption ransomware. The interesting piece is that the attackers are using a new piece of malware called RockLoader to download and install the malware on remote systems. Downloaders are nothing new, as Upatre was used with Dyre and Gameover ZeuS in the past. RockLoader has several tricks up its sleeve.

PhishMe April Cybercrime Alert: Ransomware Attacks Expected to Increase

Cybersecurity Experts, Former Federal Law Enforcement Professionals Say Cryptocurrency, Digital Data and Vulnerable Employees May Fuel Largest Crimewave in Modern History

LEESBURG, Va. – March 31, 2016 – PhishMe Inc., the leading provider of human phishing defense solutions, today released its April Cybercrime Alert, warning all organizations that its threat researchers expect ransomware attacks to increase as cybercriminals become increasingly aware that:

  • Ransomware is readily-available and changes faster than detection technologies can respond
  • In most cases, paying the ransom is the only way to free hostage data and systems
  • Recent successful ransom situations will only encourage more attempts
  • Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin can be used to force untraceable ransom payments
  • Humans are widely susceptible to phishing, the most commonly used ransomware attack vector

Tax Time is Phishing Time: Here’s How to Help!

Important disclaimer: THE IRS DOES NOT INITIATE CONTACT WITH TAXPAYERS BY EMAIL, TEXT MESSAGE, OR SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS TO REQUEST PERSONAL OR FINANCIAL INFORMATION. (See: https://www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing )

The IRS has a very active security team, currently part of the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), that is responsible for fighting phishing and tracking down the criminals who prey on U.S. tax payers.  If you believe you have received a Phishing email, please help them by reporting the email you received to phishing@irs.gov.  Additionally, please also consider sending a copy to our team.  PhishMe Brand Intelligence automatically processes any URLs found in emails sent to Report@phishIQ.com (not just IRS phish – we love gathering global intelligence on all phish).

Reclaiming the Edge in the Battle Against Phishing Attackers

There is a reason that most data breach incidents involve phishing attacks: phishing works.  Attackers know that it is far easier to gain access to a protected network by tricking people into clicking on malicious links and attachments than it is to penetrate sophisticated firewalls and intrusion detection systems.  And they know that they have an edge over the defenders because they only have to win once to gain access. As defenders, we need to stop them every time.  We can’t prevent attackers from soliciting people with phishing emails.  But we can take away their edge.

PhishMe CTO Aaron Higbee Discusses Ransomware Dangers on CNBC SquawkBox

Aaron Higbee, PhishMe co-founder and CTO, was featured on a recent CNBC SquawkBox broadcast segment discussing recent ransomware trends plaguing the healthcare space. During the attack, a phishing email is sent to the user’s inbox prompting them to click a malicious link that begins encrypting files and storage drives on your computer. Once the files are encrypted, the only way to retrieve the data from the malicious actors is to pay a ransom in BitCoin. In the video (seen below), Higbee dives deeper into the various motivations for these types of attacks and how businesses can better prepare themselves to thwart ransomware before it strikes.