Monday, November 10, 2014

All about Phishing: As simple as dangerous

Saturday morning. You nicely get up, aware that you don’t have to work today, and walk along the few meters from the hall to the kitchen to make breakfast. While the milk is heating, you decide to check your email and you find something that you definetly did not expect.


Apple writes you to let you know that you have correctly proceeded to change your recovery email address to an email address that you do not know. If you did not do it, you have the option to verify it. Of course, you click on it, fill up the form with your data, and cancel the change. Wait! Have you checked the domain from which the email was sent? Have you made sure that the website you are visiting has a valid CA certificate?

Well, in this case, we can tell you that you've been a victim of email fraud by a phishing attack. In fact, you should enter Apple’s official website and change all passwords and emails address you have set for your account. Next time, you have to be your own CSI and spend a few seconds to make sure that the email is sent by the company concerned.

The email account hijacking is one of the most effective techniques of information theft. If someone has access to your email, he may have access to a range of other services you used. Among all hijacking techniques and for having the Phishing Manual is the most simple and useful for cybercriminals. On a recent study published by Google, it is concluded that this type of phishing does not use automation of any kind, but pure social engineering. Although it is slower and requires more resources, it has high probability of success. It usually manage to skip all controls and Gmail’s anti-spam filter, and is focused and targeted to each victim.

Given that the system is not always able to mark emails as dangerous, and unfortunately nowadays there is no time to stop to analyze the technical aspects of each message, at least you should apply common sense when you received an email. If a company contacts you, it will surely address you by name or nickname, but not with an impersonal “Sir / Madam.” It will be perfectly written and spelled, and it will not ask your personal details since it has already have access to its own servers to get them.

At security auditors’ level, it is interesting to keep permanently informed about new tools to analyze services and applications so you can you can be aware of new threats on cyberspace. Palo Alto Networks released a new report with the situation experienced in 2014.

At enterprise level, it is inconceivable that even today risk analysis is not aligned with costs of the IT department in most companies. Precisely this analysis would optimize costs by allocating resources where they are needed and taking them off from not as critical business elements. It is not about creating an impregnable bunker, but a fortress that protects the company from both regular attacks and eventualities or industry trends.

These all tools allow you to enjoy the benefits of new technologies, minimizing the risk of falling victim to their drawbacks. Apply logic and monitor where you put your data.

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