What types of threats should your employees be trained to spot so that they think before they click?
Here are the most common ones:
Phishing emails. These are relatively unfocused email messages designed to collect sensitive information, such as login credentials, credit card information, Social Security numbers and other valuable data. Phishing emails pretend to come from trustworthy sources like banks, credit card companies, shippers and other sources with which potential victims have established relationships. More sophisticated phishing attempts use corporate logos and other identifiers to fool potential victims into believing the emails are genuine.
Spearphishing emails. These are targeted phishing attacks typically focused on one company, or affinity group (such as an industry organization), reflecting the fact that a cybercriminal has studied the target and crafted a message designed to have a high degree of believability and a potentially high open rate.
Consumer file sync and share tools. Productivity tools like Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive, which let users make files available on all desktop, laptop, and mobile platforms, generally are safe but can be targeted by sophisticated criminals as an entry point. For example, when an employee accesses corporate files on a home computer that does not have current anti-virus software, the employee can inadvertently infect these files with malware. When files are synced back to the employee’s work computer, malware can infect the network because it may have bypassed corporate email, web gateway, and other defenses.
Watering holes. In these social engineering attacks, cybercriminals identify websites they would like to infiltrate and that employees might visit on a regular basis. They infect these sites with malware.
Malicious Internet advertising (malvertising). This is designed to distribute malware through advertising impressions on websites.
User errors. Users sometimes inadvertently install malware or compromised code on their computers. This can occur if they install ActiveX controls, download a codec, install various applications intended to address some perceived need (such as a capability that IT does not support), or respond to scareware attempts that prey on users who are trying to protect their platforms from viruses and other malware.
Mobile malware. The growing use of smartphones and tablets is increasingly being exploited by cybercriminals. Most infections impact Android devices.
Compromised search engine queries. Valid queries can be hijacked by cybercriminals to distribute malware when employees perform web searches. This type of attack relies on poisoning results, leading to the display of malware-laden sites during these searches. This is particularly effective for popular search terms, such as information on celebrities, airline crashes, natural disasters, and other “newsy” items.
Mobile copycat apps. Some mobile applications are distributed through vendor-based and third-party stores that offer varying levels of security. If the store lacks stringent standards, serious security risks like distribution of copycat apps and malware that can cause infections when downloaded can occur.
Botnets. These are the source of many successful hacking and phishing attacks against high-profile targets. A CenturyLink Threat Research Labs study for a 2018 threat report tracked an average of 195,000 threats per day from botnets impacting an average of 104 million unique targets, from large servers to handheld devices, that steal sensitive data and launch network attacks impacting businesses worldwide.
Ransomware. In this particularly malicious form of attack, a cybercriminal can encrypt all files on a hard disk and then demand ransom for access to a decryption key. Victims who choose not to pay the ransom quickly will have their files remain encrypted permanently. Cryptolocker, a common variant of ransomware, typically extorts a few hundred dollars per incident and normally is delivered through email with a PDF or .zip file disguised as a shipping invoice or some other business document.
Hacking. With this form of cyberattack, cybercriminals use many techniques to breach corporate defenses.
Think Before You Click
Train employees to become the first line of defense in the network security risk prevention infrastructure
Social Media Threats
Profile Hacking is what happens when, as a user, you are not able to log in to your account. Someone has complete control of your account and has changed all the credentials. Facebook is the most hacked social networking site and it generally happens because of the following reasons:
- Not logging out from the account
- Sharing passwords or having passwords that are easily predicted
- Hacking the email with which you login to your Facebook account
- Logging in through Facebook options for apps
Photo Morphing is a special effect that allows a person to morph or change one image or shape into another without any difficulty. With billions of photos shared every day it’s easy for a hacker to use your images, morph it and then use it for porn sites or blackmailing for financial/sexual gains
Imposter Accounts & Fake News. Imposters and hackers may be operating from a foreign country and thus may not know the native language very well, leading to easily identifiable typos. Hasty efforts to set up accounts or websites may lead to them looking unprofessional or sloppy. Legitimate organizations will want their online presence to look good and free of typos!
Watch out for sensational or outrageous titles. False news relies on catchy titles that pack in a lot of detail to grab readers, possibly for nefarious reasons.
Click Bait Scams. Scammers have started creating intriguing posts to bait consumers into clicking and subsequently falling victim to sharing personal information or downloading malware and viruses. Once a user clicks the sensational or outlandish link a pop up asks them to “update your video player” or “scan” your computer for possible viruses.
Chain Letters. You’ve likely seen this one before — the dreaded chain letter, “Retweet this and receive good fortune” or outcome. Most often it is a prankster looking for a laugh, or a spammer needing “friends” to hit up later. Many well-meaning people pass these fake claims onto others. Break the chain
Hidden Charges. “What Disney character are you? Find out with our quiz! All of your friends have taken it!” Hmm, this sounds interesting, so you enter your info and cell number, as instructed. You’ve also just unwittingly subscribed to some dubious service that charges $9.95 every month.
As it turns out, that “free, fun service” is neither. Be wary of these bait-and-switch games. They tend to thrive on social sites.
Phishing & Brand Impersonation. Phishing typically involves setting up a website that resembles that of the company whose customers are targeted as part of the phishing attack. The idea is to convince the individuals that the website belongs to the trusted company, such as the person’s bank, so that the victim reveals sensitive information (such as login credentials, credit card information, etc.).
Connected Apps & Permissions. Most companies have applications that are connected to their social media accounts. These may include your listening system, your publishing system, your analytics system, etc. Know that other applications can be in-roads to access, so understanding the security practices around your connected apps is critical. Notice how many apps ask for access to your photos, microphone, camera, location? Take a few minutes to look over the most sensitive permissions and ensure you aren’t handing over too much info.
Cryptomining and digital currency scams. Since 2017 there has been a 400 to 600% increase in the amount ofcryptomining malware being detected globally, the vast majority of which has been found on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Messenger and YouTube. Apps, adverts and links have been the primary delivery mechanism for cryptomining software on social platforms.
Hijacking of Trustworthy Verified Accounts. Hackers take over the verified account. Messages are sent out from the stolen account sabotaging creditability and demanding ransome in cryptocurrency.
Social Media Enabling Traditional Crime. Social media platforms are also hosting a thriving criminal ecosystem for more traditional criminal activity. They serve as a recruitment centre for money mules used for laundering, with posts or adverts offering opportunities to earn large amounts of money in a short time. Reports of a large amounts of drugs like cannabis, GHB and even fentanyl being sold on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.