under the right conditions anyone can be fooled by a spear-phishing message. For example, the APWG reported that by the end of 2019, 68 percent of all phishing sites used SSL protection — up from around 10 percent in Q1 2017 — so telling users to look for SSL/TLS visual clues in websites is no longer an effective strategy by itself. an ample backup and retrieval program for your business, you should, and soon. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of equities.com. But much of the advice which was common as recently as five years ago is no longer sufficient. However, they are also a portal through which attackers can take advantage of our human nature. These helpful tips will save you and your bank account from undue attack and impersonation. The most risky and 1. The latest estimate from ProofPoint’s State of the Phish 2020 report indicates that nearly 90% surveyed organizations faced spear phishing attacks in 2019. They settled a $115 million class action settlement. 5 – Best practices to defend against evolving attacks, revealed a rise in number of business email compromise (BEC) attacks, which make up 12% of all spear-phishing attacks targeting businesses, up from just 7% in 2019. This year's report shows how phishing continues to evolve as threat actors adapt to (and exploit) changes in the digital landscape. Phishing attacks have been increasing steadily throughout 2019. The file then allows the hacker to carry out a range of actions. To avoid raising suspicion and increase their chance of success, spear phishing campaigns tend to seek critical information related to three key aspects of a target organization: Extensive use of job advertising sites and social media platforms by organizations and employees alike can make the process of assembling this information much easier and faster than it would have been just a decade ago. 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 … This is an interesting example of spear phishing targeting private individuals as opposed to business. Targets have Business email compromise (BEC) makes up 12% of the spear-phishing attacks analyzed, an increase from just 7% in 2019. In a BEC attack, a scammer targets employees who have access to company finances, usually by sending them email from fake or compromised email accounts (a “spear phishing” attack). “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. I recommend a storage and data protection assessment be conducted twice a year 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. This is no time for organizations to be complacent about this form of social engineering, as the stakes are high, and technology-based controls can only get us so far. DISCLOSURE: 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. These emails carried a virus that could potentially compromise government computers and result in sending sensitive data about US nuclear weapon program to foreign governments. Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information or data, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. In September 2019, the FBI issued a rare warning about BEC attacks via its IC3 reporting center. 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 … Username and password do not match or you do not have an account yet. Like the APWG’s statistics, Europol’s findings show that the number of phishing websites has reached new record levels. For this reason, users must invest in the right technology that is purpose-built for such multi-dimensional threat protection. An example of a spear phishing email. Targeted spear phishing attacks are carefully designed to go undetected. If you're a fan of Hollywood movies, chances are you have heard of the hack that involved the leaking of emails linking various celebrities including then President Barack Obama, Angelina Jolie, Leonardo DiCaprio and David Fincher, which ultimately led to the forced resignation of the targeted Sony executive and the the payment of $8 million in compensation - $4.5 million to employees and $3.5 million to attorneys. 84% of SMBs Targeted by Phishing Attacks Phishing is social engineering using digital channels. Consider also whether your password is unique, and, critically, whether you will be able to remember it. 4. Use logic when opening email, and do not click links in emails. The most successful type of phishing attack is the so-called spear-phishing attack, which is specifically aimed at individuals or certain companies. This phishing attack apparently had a political motive and was launched by a hacker group named Guardians of Peace, which the US investigators traced back to North Korea. The most important defense against spear phishing attacks other then standard controls such as spam filters, malware detection and antivirus, companies should consider phishing simulation tests, user education, and having an established process for users to report suspicious emails to the IT security team. How is spear phishing different from the regular phishing? 83% of global infosec respondents experienced phishing attacks in 2018, an increase from 76% in 2017. In 2018, reports of credential compromise rose 70% over 2017, and they’ve soared 280% since 2016. Be careful and meticulous about what you post online. Many scams, especially the ones that target private individuals are likely never reported but still, perform their mission with devastating precision. Subscribe to get our Daily Fix delivered to you inbox 5 days a week, » Email Marketing Services Company Epsilon Breach. Spear Phishing Attack. Once this information is provided, the attacker can use it to gain access into such individuals' bank accounts or even steal an identity to create a new one using the information obtained. Because phishing is a means to an end, one common follow-up that’s often observed alongside a phishing campaign is business email compromise (BEC). Business email compromise (BEC) makes up 12% of the spear-phishing attacks analyzed, an increase from just 7% in 2019. In addition, spear phishing attacks can deploy malware to hijack computers, organizing them into enormous networks called botnets that can be used for denial of service attacks. I personally suggest making This is very different to antivirus or other malware protection tools that look only at isolated instances of attack. 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. Email, web, social media, SMS, and mobile apps are all major parts of our digital lives. Spear-Phishing, a Real-Life Example July 5, 2019 By Emil Hozan While reading some online security articles, one in particular stood out. For example, the website, Europol has indicated that many organizations are simply unprepared to investigate spear phishing and BEC incidents adequately. According to APWG’s Phishing Activity … to assess the state of health of your data protection program. The attack took the form of a phishing email that was opened by five employees and which resulted in the download of keystroke logging software. 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. 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