Business email compromise (BEC) makes up 12% of the spear-phishing attacks analyzed, an increase from just 7% in 2019. highly popular type of cyber attacks is the Targeted spear phishing attacks are carefully designed to go undetected. Even though RSA managed to spot the attack in progress, the attackers still managed to steal sensitive data from RSA’s network. Your curiosity to see what's in the message and the personalized nature of the message with your first name are examples of factors working against you to encourage you to click or open the malware. In 2017, spear-phishing emails were the most widely used infection method, employed by 71% of hacker groups which carried out cyber attacks. The City of Naples says the cyber attack that resulted in the loss of $700,000 was a "sophisticated" spear phishing strategy. With regard to cyber espionage, phishing was used in 78 percent of cases. If there is no prior knowledge or spear phishing protection in place, attackers can easily target victims who put personal information on the internet. If BEC attacks have been getting a lot more coverage in 2019, it’s because there has been an uptick in activity and in losses reported by businesses and individuals. Europol noted that 65 percent of targeted attacks involved spear phishing as the primary infection vector. 4. I recommend a storage and data protection assessment be conducted twice a year InfoSec, Risk, and Privacy Strategist - Minnesota State University, Mankato, 2019 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index Report, Business Email Compromise: The $26 Billion Scam, fake unusual sign-in activity notifications, incident response and investigation processes, The structure of the organization — who works where and to whom they report, The various tools, skills and knowledge bases staff use routinely, The processes in place at that particular organization or location, Review your organization’s social engineering footprint, especially on the topics of structure, processes and software. One of the most prominent examples of spear phishing in the public sector involves the case of Charles Harvey Eccleston who pleaded guilty to sending out emails to U.S Department of Energy employees. There is a running theme in the reports from the APWG and Europol and the warnings from the FBI/IC3: Take phishing seriously and review your preparations now. This information enables highly effective spear phishing attacks that can result in “much greater damage overall.” According to Europol, “one successful attempt can be enough to compromise a whole organization.”. Lancaster University students’ personal data stolen in phishing attack. address directly into your browser to get to your As the APWG noted, the preferred method was to ask for gift cards (56 percent), with another 25 percent moving funds via payroll diversion and 19 percent via direct transfers. 72% of COVID-19-related attacks … under the right conditions anyone can be fooled by a spear-phishing message. »Don't assume that you're too smart to fall for a spear phishing attack. The health insurance giant Anthem experienced a devastating phishing attack in 2015, which resulted in the theft of private data of over 35.5 million customers and key employees including that of Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish. DISCLOSURE: Phishing is the act of sending emails that falsely claim to be from a legitimate organization. Spear Phishing Attack. Spear-Phishing, a Real-Life Example July 5, 2019 By Emil Hozan While reading some online security articles, one in particular stood out. Come 2019, cyber criminals have upped their game and according to new research, cyber criminals will continue to target end users. Globally, there were over 150,000 victims, with more than 26 billion dollars at stake. This involves constantly educating the users about what spear phishing attacks are, and how to guard against them. Phishing attacks jump by 21% in latest quarter, says Kaspersky by Lance Whitney in Security on August 29, 2019, 6:36 AM PST The number of worldwide phishing attacks detected by … Barracuda’s research reveals key takeaways about how these targeted attacks are evolving and the approaches cybercriminals are using to maximize their impact. an ample backup and retrieval program for your business, you should, and soon. Judging by the amount of activity, the phishing industry is a thriving business. The email advised that the hosts could not accept any more bookings until they accept compliance with GDPR policy from Airbnb. © 2020 Equities News | Equities.com, Inc. * All dates and time are being displayed in Eastern Standard Time (EST). Spear phishing campaigns are still hackers’ most-used attack vector in 2019, with over 90% of successful data breaches occurring as a result of a spear-phishing attack. The perpetrators usually disguise themselves as trustworthy entities and then make contact with their target through email, phone calls (also called vishing for voice phishing), social media and even text messages (also called smishing for SMS-phishing). Scammers invest heavily in creating innovative spoofs, and people and businesses must also invest accordingly, including incorporating measures against known cases of spear phishing or using advanced machine learning techniques that can predict the likelihood of an email being part of a spear phishing attack. The longer the password is, the harder it will be to crack. Sony did have to cancel the release in theaters but managed to release a digital copy of the movie instead. spear phishing attack. The attackers managed to get one of the targets to open an email attachment which ended up installing a variant of the Poison Ivy Trojan using a zero-day vulnerability in Adobe Flash. In their latest report covering Q3 2019, the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) labeled this period as “the worst period for phishing that the APWG has seen in three years.” For each month from July to September 2019, they reported over 80,000 phishing sites, with three-quarters of all attacks targeting just three industry sectors: SaaS/webmail (33 percent), payment industry (21 percent) and financial institutions (19 percent). experienced spear phishing attacks and 86% of them faced BEC attacks.16 In 2019, one of the most targeted service was Microsoft 365 and the main focus was on harvesting credentials.17 Once these credentials had been acquired, the attacker was able to collect more organisational data, a process that could last for weeks or months18 and could then lead to spear-phishing attacks. a targeted attempt to steal sensitive information such as account credentials or financial information from a specific victim The most successful type of phishing attack is the so-called spear-phishing attack, which is specifically aimed at individuals or certain companies. The 2019 report — our fifth annual — has been significantly expanded, offering more data and analysis than ever before. Hackers use a method called Spear Phishing to trick users into giving up their data freely. Subscribe to get our Daily Fix delivered to you inbox 5 days a week, » Email Marketing Services Company Epsilon Breach. For this reason, users must invest in the right technology that is purpose-built for such multi-dimensional threat protection. Some spear phishing attack examples include: Irony struck the security giant RSA in March 2011 when the systems behind the EMC division’s flagship SecurID 2-factor authentication product were compromised using spear phishing. These helpful tips will save you and your bank account from undue attack and impersonation. “Phishing and malware will also continue to be relentless threats, leveraged by both cybercriminals and APT actors that require organizations to address the inadvertent actor risk.” — 2019 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index Report. This shows just how hard it is to identify and properly respond to targeted email threats. For each month from July to September 2019, they reported over 80,000 phishing sites, with three-quarters of all attacks targeting just three industry sectors: SaaS/webmail (33 … The stronger our technical defenses become, the more threat actors look to target the human dimension of security. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. The reason it stood out was how the story was told; it wasn’t just a bunch of technical mumbo jumbo that is tough to decipher. 72% of COVID-19-related attacks are scamming. Organizations and individuals must remain vigilant for spear phishing and BEC attacks by combining awareness with robust security controls and processes that boost overall cyber resilience. The file then allows the hacker to carry out a range of actions. Students and undergraduate applicants to Lancaster University had their personal details stolen in a pair of breaches that were disclosed on 22 July 2019. The attackers often disguise themselves as very close friends to get this information. Be careful and meticulous about what you post online. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer. The email will ask the recipient to supply confidential information, such as bank account details, PINs or passwords; these details are then used by the originators of the phishing email to conduct fraud. As a result, EC3 organised a Joint Advisory Group meeting from 26 – 27 March 2019 at Europol to discuss what industry and law enforcement can do Business email compromise attacks, for example, are also known as whaling, CEO fraud, or wire-transfer fraud. Keep in mind the following tips to be safe from this cyber crime. Type the claimed sender's website Spear phishing is a targeted attempt to steal sensitive information such as account credentials or financial information from a specific victim. There are several different types of phishing attacks, and the type the scammers use depends on their end goal. They settled a $115 million class action settlement. Phishing is an all encompassing word for all forms of online attack in an attempt to get victims to share sensitive information about themselves. The attack involved an email with a link to a malicious site which resulted in downloading of Win32.BlkIC.IMG, which disabled anti-virus software, a Trojan keylogger called iStealer, that was used to steal passwords, and an administration tool called CyberGate, which was used to gain complete remote control of compromised systems. Watch what personal information you put on the internet. Chris Veltsos is a professor in the Department of Computer Information Science at Minnesota State University, Mankato where he regularly teaches Information ... read more. An example of a spear phishing email. According to APWG’s Phishing Activity … This is usually combined with a threat or request for information: for example, that an account will close, a balance is due or information is missing from an account. The latest estimate from ProofPoint’s State of the Phish 2020 report indicates that nearly 90% surveyed organizations faced spear phishing attacks in 2019. This is measured by the share of users whose Anti-Phishing solutions were triggered by users in those countries. Clicking on the link would take the user to a spoof site that then harvested personal information. You have to be logged in to leave a comment. Of course, these are just a few examples of prominent attacks that made it to the front pages of the Internet. The attacker would … Email, web, social media, SMS, and mobile apps are all major parts of our digital lives. Phishing attacks have been increasing steadily throughout 2019. Top leadership should encourage the development and refining of dedicated, Organizations should also conduct a yearly review of controls and processes to get assurances of their effectiveness. 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