When a hacked Twitter account spreads false news of an explosion at the White House and causes hysteria that spurs a 140 point drop in the stock market, it should encourage calls for Twitter to bolster its security measures, so it’s no surprise that many are clamoring for Twitter to offer 2-factor authentication. One problem with this – news outlets are reporting that hackers gained access to the AP’s account through a phishing attack. While 2-factor authentication makes it more difficult to phish an account, it will not prevent this type of attack from being successful (nor will a more complex or longer password for that matter).
A report from ProofPoint released at the RSA conference discussed what is supposedly a new phishing technique dubbed “longline” phishing. The report touts “longlining” as the newest way criminals are sending phishing emails in efforts to bypass technical controls. Mass customization of emails allows criminals to fly under the radar of most email filters and successfully deliver spear-phishing emails to a larger number of email users at a single organization. This tactic combines the best of both worlds from the criminal’s standpoint, but it doesn’t really change the game in terms of defending against phishing attacks, as your users still provide the most effective line of defense against the phishing threat.
Whether “longline” phishing is actually a new type of attack or not, Security Officers should focus on the fact that adversaries will continue to modify their attack strategies to circumvent or evade technical controls in an attempt to directly exploit humans. This is why it’s increasingly critical for organizations to invest in proven and effective behavioral change programs that educate users about the attacks that target them.
Most of you are probably aware of the breach that occurred at the New York Times. Employee passwords and sensitive information related to an investigative news story covering the finances of Wen Jiabao, China’s Prime Minister, were compromised. The New York Times’research helps give them a competitive advantage in their industry, it is their proprietary information. It is the equivalent to the theft of financial reports, blueprints and customer data.
The headlines roll in… The NYTimes breached by spear-phishing! Symantec AV fails to detect attackers! In an official press release, Symantec says, “Anti-virus software alone is not enough.” Later, the CEO of the incident response firm hired to respond to the NYtimes news goes to Bloomberg TV to say that these attacks are rampant and that the group responsible for the breach has been active in nearly 100 other organizations. In that same interview he says that the attack (spear-phishing) is not unique.
This sounds like the type of story PhishMe would pounce on and twist into an obvious sales pitch right? Security Technology Fail; Spear Phishing is “rampant” ergo you need the PhishMe training method to change employee behavior regarding email safety.
With 2013 upon us, it will be a busy year at PhishMe, as we are already scheduled to appear at around 70 events. That means another year of heavy traveling for our sales and marketing team. While it’s definitely exciting to visit new places and introduce new people to PhishMe, as with anything else in life, there are risks involved. Does your organization have employees that travel frequently? If so, they are probably being targeted by phishers.
Happy Day After Christmas everyone! Thankfully the world didn’t end last Friday, and we were able to finish the 12 Days of Phishless Christmas campaign. Hopefully you are spending today on the couch nursing your eggnog and Christmas cookie hangover, out at the mall returning that Cosby sweater your Aunt gave you, or getting ready to watch the Little Caesar’s Bowl.
We’re at the halfway point of our 12 Days of Phishless Christmas campaign, and we have been having a great time interacting with our followers while also raising money for some great charities. We’d like to recognize our first five winners, as well as the charities they have chosen for their donations.
It’s been an excellent year for us all here at PhishMe, and to celebrate the holidays and give thanks, we’re giving our followers a chance to earn money for charity through what we are calling the 12 Days of Phishless Christmas. Starting Friday, December 14, and continuing each day until Christmas Day, we’ll be tweeting every day with a new opportunity for our followers to win a donation to charity in their name.
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.
If you’re like me, then the idea of fighting the midnight crowds on Black Friday holds limited appeal, even if it means getting an 80% discount on a big screen TV. But thanks to Cyber Monday, people can get ridiculous deals without peeling themselves away from their computers – or offices.
With emotions running high during election season, an email with the name Romney or Obama in the subject line could make even an experienced user click on a malicious link. Spammers are taking advantage of the Presidential election buzz and using malware-laden emails to target users. Many of these emails don’t have any visible consequences, so users may not even realize when malware is infiltrating their personal computers or mobile devices. But what about the potential danger this malware can bring into your workplace from these spear phishing scams?