The online space makes it easier for people
to pretend to be others. People can easily create fake profiles with the click
of a button. Facebook says they removed 2.2 billion fake accounts in the first quarter
Instead of hacking into your account, an
attacker can just pretend to be you. Bad actors can easily take your photos and
create a fake social media profile or mock up an email address that looks close
to your work email. From there they can try to contact people close to you and
engage in impersonation attacks.
3 Types of Impersonation Attacks
Bad actors who try to impersonate others
can engage in any of the following attacks:
1. BEC/CEO Fraud: In these attacks, attackers impersonate companies or high-level executives like CEOs. They then contact employees or business partners and ask them to wire transfer money into a fraudulent account. BEC attacks are very common and losses are typically in the excess of $100,000 according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
2. Romance Scam: Colloquially known as catfishing, this scam involves bad actors trying to woo their victims by pretending to be another person. This attack involves stealing photos from real life people and crafting a persona from those images. In some cases, an attacker will pretend to be a well-known celebrity. They build a rapport with their victim to establish trust. Once trust is established, they will concoct a story that will move the victim into giving them money.
3. Vishing: Scammers will not only impersonate people online but also through telephone calls. Vishing is a type of phishing attack where attackers call potential victims and pretend to be a government authority or help desk support. They try to scare victims by telling them they have bank, computer or fraud issues, or they will try to entice victims into giving information by saying they’ve won a prize.
What to Do If You’re Being Impersonated Online
Anyone can be a victim of online impersonation. Here are three things you can when dealing with a fake account:
1. Report the user: It’s important to try to get the fake account taken down as soon as possible. Report any false accounts that are in your name. Do not engage with the fake account. They could get hostile and end up escalating the situation to something worse.
2. Warn others: Having multiple accounts in your name can confuse your friends, family and employees. If they accidentally mistake the impostor for you, valuable data or finances could be lost. Let your contacts know that you are being impersonated. If the account is doing any specific actions, like messaging your employees to buy gift cards, make sure you warn others about these actions too.
3. Monitor for other incidents: Check for other fake accounts on other websites like LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. Make sure that there aren’t any other impersonators elsewhere. Continue to monitor time and time again to ensure that this doesn’t happen in the future.
How to Avoid Falling Victim to
1. Awareness: In order to combat these attacks, you need to know what to look out for. Engaging in a security awareness course like our Secure IT – Cyber Awareness Training will help employees understand the threat landscape and learn what they can do to help build defenses.
2. Speak up: Employees may be hesitant to doubt the veracity of a message from an executive or boss but if they are receiving strange messages, it’s important to alert someone about it. Creating a good security culture in your workplace will encourage employees to speak up about potential security incidents. By directly asking the person who supposedly sent the email or having a second opinion from another co worker, it can help curb potential fraud or data leaks.
3. Increase email security: A secure email solution like Secure IT – Mail will help protect your inbox and can filter out malicious messages. This solution provides advanced security technologies like AI and SIEM to protect your inbox from threats.
A newly discovered piece of Android malware that replaces portions of apps with its own code has infected more than 25 million devices, according to security firm Check Point. Check Point’s researchers named the malware “Agent Smith” because of the methods it uses to attack a device and avoid detection.
The malware doesn’t steal data from a user. Instead, it hacks apps and forces them to display more ads or takes credit for the ads they already display so that the malware’s operator can profit off the fraudulent views. Check Point says the malware looks for known apps on a device, such as WhatsApp, Opera Mini, or Flipkart, then replaces portions of their code and prevents them from being updated.
Proper security measures must be in place to defend against Agent Smith malware and similar threats. Ensure your systems have the latest patches installed. Having proper up-to-date endpoint security provides a cross-generational blend of threat defense techniques to protect systems from malware.
Mozilla has released security patches for vulnerabilities in Firefox. Some of these bugs showed evidence of memory corruption and is presumed that with enough effort that some of these could be exploited to run arbitrary code.
A newly discovered form of ransomware is targeting network storage devices by brute-forcing weak credentials and exploiting known vulnerabilities in their systems.
Dubbed eCh0raix after a string of code, the new form of file-locking malware emerged in June and has been detailed by cybersecurity researchers at Anomali. The ransomware specifically targets QNAP network attached storage (NAS) devices produced by Taiwanese firm QNAP systems, which has offices in 16 countries and customers around the world.
The attacks are opportunistic, with the initial infection coming via unsecured, internet-facing ports and the use of brute-force attacks to bypass weak login credentials. NAS devices make appealing targets for cybercriminals dealing in ransomware, because they’re used to store critical data and backups – but despite this, the devices don’t tend to be equipped with security software.
Proper security measures must be in place to defend against eCh0raix ransomware and similar threats. Ensure your systems have the latest patches installed. Backing up your data and having proper up-to-date endpoint security provides a cross-generational blend of threat defense techniques to protect systems from malware.
Most organizations may see hackers as their biggest threat but security threats can happen from inside their company as well. According to Verizon, 57% of database breaches involved insider threats within an organization.
Insider threats can occur in various ways and are not always intentionally malicious. For example, an employee who has their credentials leaked can inadvertently become an insider threat if a hacker compromises their account to steal data. In this case the employee may seem like they are a bad actor when in reality their account is being controlled by a malicious actor.
Understanding the different types of insider threats can help organizations ensure they have effective measures in place to prevent insider threats from harming their company.
An insider threat is
someone who has authorized access to an organization and misuses that access
and puts an organization’s security and data at risk. They can be former or
current employees, stakeholders, partners or someone who frequently access your
Insider threats are
serious because they know their way around an organization. They will most
likely have access to or know how to gain access to important data. Since they
have authorized access, they can be hard to detect or determine if they are
using their access maliciously.
A well-known example of
an insider threat is the whistleblower Edward Snowden. Snowden famously leaked
highly classified information from the NSA, where he used to work.
3 Types of Insider
leaking information or putting data at risk end up acting as an insider threat.
This type of insider threat doesn’t have malicious intentions but may use poor
cybersecurity habits that end up threatening an organization’s security.
According to research by SolarWinds, more than 50% of organizations reported
that employees pose the biggest risk for insider abuse or misuse.
The best way to combat employee error is to have a good cybersecurity culture. Cyber awareness through cybersecurity training can help users avoid common mistakes, such as clicking on a phishing link, that put organizations at risk.
This type of insider
threat wants to use their access maliciously for their own desires. They may be
a disgruntled employee looking to cause havoc on their former employer or an
employee trying to use their access for financial or personal gain. Research
from Accenture found that nearly one in five healthcare employees said they
would sell confidential information like login credentials to unauthorized
Of course, organizations are unable to read the minds of their employees let alone know their intentions. In order to combat this type of threat, using advanced technology like a SIEM can help detect suspicious behaviour, such as employees accessing unusual data or systems or if your network is communicating with a malicious server. Organizations should also disable the accounts/access of recently departed employees as soon as possible.
This threat occurs when the person colludes with other employees or with external parties to steal information.
An example of this type of insider threat would be the the incident with the “Wolf of Manchester.” In 2015 an insurance worker partnered with a former employee to steal customer data and used that information to commit fraud. The pair made £18,250 (approximately $30,000 CAD) by using the stolen data.
To mitigate this kind of
insider threat, it’s important that you are protecting your critical assets
with privileged access management and monitoring. Limiting access to important
data to only those who need it will help you keep track of who has access to
the data. Monitoring your networks for suspicious behaviour can help detect
fraudulent activity or abuse of access.
Proper security measures must be in place to defend against Golang malware and similar threats. Ensure your systems have the latest patches installed. Having proper up-to-date endpoint security provides a cross-generational blend of threat defense techniques to protect systems from malware.
Android has released its monthly security bulletin. Security patch levels of 2019-07-05 or later address all of these issues.
The vulnerability in this section could enable a local malicious application to bypass user interaction requirements in order to gain access to additional permissions.
Proper security measures must be in place to defend against Sodin ransomware and similar threats. Ensure your systems have the latest patches installed. Backing up your data and having proper up-to-date endpoint security provides a cross-generational blend of threat defense techniques to protect systems from malware.
The impacts of a cyber attack can be
devastating, and many executives are now recognizing cybersecurity as a key
business driver. A recent report from Radware surveyed executives worldwide and
found that security remains a top priority in the enterprise, with 72% of
executives citing information security as a recurring agenda topic in every board
meeting. With the rise of cyber attacks and data breaches, it’s getting more
important for businesses understand the impacts these attacks can have on their
Cyber attacks are no longer just the problem of the IT department. A single cyber attack can cripple an entire business’s operations. Organizations cannot ignore the long reaching effects of cyber attacks. Here are 5 ways a cyber attack can negatively impact your business.
1. Revenue loss: Cyber attacks like DDoS attacks can cripple websites and render them unusable for customers. Customers who are unable to access a business’s online store may look to a competitor to make their purchases. Cyber attacks can also lead to future revenue loss if customers decide they no longer want to do business with the company.
2. Brand reputation: Brand reputation is not only important for a business’s customer relationships but also for their relationships with other businesses and stakeholders. Building trust is an integral part of an organization’s relationship with others. A single cyber attack can cause damage to a brand’s reputation. Consumers will not want to do business with an organization that puts their information at risk. As a result, stakeholders will not want to invest in your business. Research from Bitglass has found that publicly traded companies suffer an average drop of 7.5% in their stock values after a breach and that it takes an average of 46 days for stock prices to return to their pre-breach levels.
3. Operational disruptions: Cyber attacks can cause service disruptions to an organization’s infrastructure. Organizations can either shut down due to an attack or be forced to divert their efforts into stopping the attack. Actions like having to unplug and isolate computers as well locating threats, negotiating ransoms, restoring backups, removing viruses, etc. disrupts business productivity. Additional activities like having to conduct investigations and implementing new resources can also cause additional disruptions after an attack.
4. Hidden financial costs: Cyber attacks have many hidden costs that can cause an attack to cost more than just the initial damage. For example, when Wasaga Beach got hit by ransomware, they paid a negotiated ransom of nearly $35,000. However, the cost of the attack didn’t stop there. The town had to hire consultants and make changes to their IT infrastructure. Overtime and productivity losses also added extra costs. Overall, the ransomware attack cost the town $251,759. That’s more than seven times the amount the town negotiated to pay for their ransomed servers. Other hidden costs can also include legal fees, PR/communications strategies and compliance penalties.
5. Loss of Data: Cyber attacks put your data at risk. Hackers can steal any kinds of data, including those from your customers and employees. Once your data is in the wrong hands a number of things can occur. Hackers can hold it for ransom, sell it on the dark web or use it in other malicious ways. Hackers not only target personal identifiable information but also intellectual property. Information regarding product designs, marketing campaigns, strategies and blueprints can also be at risk. Losing this type of data can affect the competitiveness of your business.
How to Protect Your Business
No matter the size of your business,
cybersecurity protection is vital. Using advanced cybersecurity solutions like
Jolera’s Secure IT, combined
aware staff, can help protect your business and prevent these kinds of
Proper security measures must be in place to defend against Silex malware and similar threats. Ensure your systems have the latest patches installed. Having proper up-to-date endpoint security provides a cross-generational blend of threat defense techniques to protect systems from malware.
VideoLAN has released a security advisory that affects VLC media player 3.0.6 and earlier.
A remote user can create some specially crafted avi or mkv files that, when loaded by the target user, will trigger a heap buffer overflow (read) in ReadFrame (demux/avi/avi.c), or a double free in zlib_decompress_extra() (demux/mkv/utils.cpp) respectively
If successful, a malicious third party could trigger either a crash of VLC or an arbitratry code execution with the privileges of the target user.
VLC media player 3.0.7 addresses the issues. This release also fixes an important security issue that could lead to code execution when playing an AAC file.
The Sodinokibi Ransomware has been spotted being distributed through malvertising that redirects to the RIG exploit kit. With the use of exploit kits, Sodinokibi is now using a wide stream of vectors to infect victims with the ransomware.
With the addition of exploit kits to the distribution arsenal, this ransomware is poised to be a big player in the ransomware space.
Proper security measures must be in place to defend against Sodinokibi ransomware and similar threats. Ensure your systems have the latest patches installed. Backing up your data and having proper up-to-date endpoint security provides a cross-generational blend of threat defense techniques to protect systems from malware.
The increase of IoT devices and
their lack of security is giving rise to several cyber threats, including
botnets. Botnets not only target corporate devices but infect home IoT devices
like security cameras. One of the largest botnet attacks was the Mirai botnet
attack in 2016. Hackers managed to infect 500,000 devices and used them to
engage in DDoS attacks which shutdown services like Spotify and Netflix.
the attack happened in 2016, Mirai botnet (as well as other botnets) is still
active today. A report by Fortinet found that Mirai was one of the most active
botnets in the second quarter of 2018.
A botnet is a network of IoT devices that have been infected with malware and are controlled by hackers. Hacker control networks of infected devices by having them communicate using peer-to-peer networks or through a command and control (C&C) server.
start creating botnets by first infecting as many devices as possible. This is
done through spreading malware via malicious email attachments, pop up ads or
downloads. Some botnets can self propagate and scan for vulnerable devices to
device is infected, hackers will try to control the devices. They can either
use a peer-to-peer connection where infected devices share communication with
other infected devices or connect the device to a C&C server. The C&C
server is where hackers relay instructions to control the infected devices.
Hackers often spread C&C servers throughout the world so they’re more
difficult to find and bring down.
to control hundreds of thousands of computers all at once allows hackers to
engage in large scale attacks. Examples of malicious activities botnets can
carry out include DDoS attacks, send out viruses, steal data and more. Botnets
can be hard to detect because they don’t use a large amount of computing power,
meaning they can infect devices for years.
Protect Against Botnets
Since botnets are hard to detect, preventing your device from being infected is critical. Here are three things you can do to defend against botnets.
1. Employ advanced protection: Integrating advanced security solutions like those from our security solutions package (Secure IT) can help protect against botnet infections. Using a combination of antivirus, endpoint protection, SIEM and firewalls will provide multiple layers of defense and reduce opportunities for hackers to infect your systems.
2.Patch and update regularly: Using legacy systems or failing to update your software and hardware can leave you vulnerable to attacks. It’s important to make sure that your systems, applications and browsers are always updated to the latest version. Patching against these security vulnerabilities can prevent hackers from using known exploits and infecting your devices.
3. Isolate infected machines: Detecting and removing infected machines from your network helps prevent the threat from spreading to other devices. As soon as an infected computer is discovered, it’s important to disconnect the device right away. Once you’ve isolated the infected machine, you need to clean the machine and remove the malware. If a computer is not cleaned up properly after an infection, it can become reinfected.
A new strain of malware has been spotted in the wild by the Kaspersky security team. Named Plurox, this new malware is a cut above the usual malware strains security researchers encounter on a daily basis.
According to Kaspersky, Plurox, despite being in early testing, has some pretty advanced features and can act as a backdoor into infected enterprise networks, can spread laterally to compromise even more systems, and can mine cryptocurrencies using one of eight different plugins.
In other words, the malware can work as a backdoor trojan, a self-spreading virus, and a crypto-miner, all at the same time.
Proper security measures must be in place to defend against Plurox malware and similar threats. Ensure your systems have the latest patches installed. Having proper up-to-date endpoint security provides a cross-generational blend of threat defense techniques to protect systems from malware.
Mozilla Firefox has announced security updates for Firefox and Firefox ESR.
Insufficient vetting of parameters passed with the Prompt:Open IPC message between child and parent processes can result in the non-sandboxed parent process opening web content chosen by a compromised child process. When combined with additional vulnerabilities this could result in executing arbitrary code on the user’s computer.
Proper security measures must be in place to defend against Ryuk ransomware and similar threats. Ensure your systems have the latest patches installed. Backing up your data and having proper up-to-date endpoint security provides a cross-generational blend of threat defense techniques to protect systems from malware.
As technology continues
to upgrade and change, many systems that are currently in place in
organizations tend to become outdated.
For example, Microsoft
recently announced that Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server
2008 will be reaching end-of support. This means that Microsoft will no longer
be updating and patching security vulnerabilities to these products.
When manufacturers make these announcements, it means that organizations that continue to use outdated systems are using what’s considered to be legacy systems. It’s ultimately up to an organization as to whether or not they want to upgrade their systems but using legacy systems can present several security challenges.
It seems like as technology advances, companies should be updating alongside with it to better serve customers and remain competitive. However, there are several reasons why companies would continue to use legacy systems. It can be tough for a business to upgrade their systems, especially when their operations are tailored around them. This can affect data as it can be lost or corrupted. Some companies may not want to update due to the high costs of their current systems not being amortized. As a result, legacy systems can be seen in several industries, opening them up to several security risks.
4 Ways Legacy Systems
Are Security Risks
1. Security vulnerabilities: Legacy systems are vulnerable to cyber attacks. When manufacturers end support for their systems, it means they stop updating any security vulnerabilities too. This means that hackers can exploit unpatched vulnerabilities and gain access to your systems. These systems may also lack updated security features necessary to protect data and/or may not support new security software.
2. Lack of talent resources: IT professionals are constantly updating their skills and knowledge so that they can support the latest platforms. As a result, the talent pool of knowledge for legacy systems grows smaller. This can make it harder for you to find the right people to help support your systems. Since legacy systems require more work to maintain, it’s important you have the right experts looking after these systems.
3. Data loss: Legacy systems may not always be compatible with new apps or software, leading to data silos. Research by Snaplogic found that 41% of organizations have critical company data is trapped in legacy systems that cannot be accessed or linked to cloud services, costing organizations approximately $140 million. This can lead to organizations forgetting about data in these systems and system administrators may fail to backup the data or implement necessary security controls to protect it.
4. Compliance issues: Legacy systems put organizations at risk to cyber attacks which can lead to compliance risks. Countries all over the world have implemented privacy standards like GDPR and PIPEDA in response to protecting personal identifiable information. Failing to comply with these standards can lead to penalties and fines if you experience a data breach.
If you are unsure about
the security of your legacy systems or have questions about upgrading, contact an expert at Jolera today.
A new malware campaign aimed at Windows machines features a novel technique to control the resulting botnet, with the group behind it hiding their communications using a P2P network.
It’s not known who the author of IPStorm is or where they are operating from, but the malware has a ‘reverse shell’ functionality that can allow hackers to execute any arbitrary PowerShell code on the infected machine.
What’s interesting about the malware, according to researchers at cybersecurity firm Anomali, is that it is the first malware found in the wild that is using IPFS’ p2p network for its command and control communication. By using a legitimate p2p network, the malware can hide its network traffic among legitimate p2p network traffic.
Proper security measures must be in place to defend against IPStorm malware and similar threats. Having proper up-to-date endpoint and firewall security provides a cross-generational blend of threat defense techniques to protect systems from malware.
Adobe has released security updates for Adobe Flash Player for Windows, macOS, Linux and Chrome OS. These updates address a critical vulnerability in Adobe Flash Player versions 18.104.22.168 and earlier. Successful exploitation could lead to arbitrary code execution in the context of the current user.
Ensure Adobe Flash Player is updated with the latest version (Version 22.214.171.124).
The RIG exploit kit is now infecting victim’s computers with a new ransomware variant called Buran. This ransomware is a variant of the Vega ransomware that was previously being distributed through Russian malvertising campaigns.
While there are some minor changes in the new Buran variant, the encryption process for the most part appears to be the same as the one distributed in Russia.
Proper security measures must be in place to defend against Buran ransomware and similar threats. Ensure your systems have the latest patches installed. Backing up your data and having proper up-to-date endpoint security provides a cross-generational blend of threat defense techniques to protect systems from malware.