Category Archives: Phishing

Phishing is still in vogue and more and more widespread. It is very dangerous and can hack computers. We keep our readers informed of developments and the latest news.

Following a test, 20% of Gitlab employees are having a phishing attack

Phishing or phishing is a well-known technique in the cybercrime industry.

It's literally classic of the genre, which allows the malicious cyber to collect information about unwary Internet users.

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Information that can often be sensitive or confidential. These include login credentials or any data that allows authentication of a particular person during any connection. This technique and often used through messaging tools whose users of digital services tend to use the most. This could be, for example, the email, which alone constitutes a large majority of phishing campaigns. It could also be classic messaging apps such as Messenger or Whatsapp, or simply SMS.

To succeed, the cybercriminal will send a message in order to attract the user to a fake website. The trap message usually relates to a common theme such as the covid-19 we live in today, or are focused around games that will allow the targeted person to earn money. If, for example, the latter lacks vigilance, and clicks on the link proposed in the messages that it receives, it will be written to a site that is managed by cyber-prisoners. They will take the opportunity to ask them to fill out forms that will then allow them to retrieve the information they are interested in. Stan Adkens, noted: "Phishing attacks are designed to steal identifiers or trick the recipient into downloading or executing dangerous attachments. It is a technique used by fraudsters to make the victim believe that he or she is talking to a trusted third party. »

For those of interest to us in this story, it is simply note that GitLab tends to perform phishing tests on its employees every quarter. But each time, the result gives the impression that it is virtually impossible to eradicate this phenomenon. The company's last test was last week. In this phishing campaign, the company's goal was to target certain employees to obtain certain information such as gitlab.com identifiers. The teams were tested by e-mails received in a rush that looked like a completely normal commercial communication campaign. And of course some got caught up in the game.

The company has meant an important fact, the goal is not at all to punish people who do not follow digital hygiene measures properly, but in a sense to make them aware, to show them that the fault comes largely from them, in order to get them back on the right path. It goes with the security of the company together.

The phishing simulation did not take into account some details, what is the additional defense, including multi-factor authentication. The test team has put the GitLab.company domain online. They used G Suite to dump corrupt emails. The services and domain name used in this context have been configured with SSL configuration to give the image to the mails as legitimate emails from the company. GitLab pointed out that such infrastructure can be set up by a free and effortless cybermal.

Of the fifty employees targeted in this test, 17 were caught by the trap. Unfortunately, they clicked on the proposed link. As a result of this act they were automatically redirected to a manual designed by GitLab to raise awareness against phishing. Victims will then be encouraged to take training courses or solicit the security team to provide some recommendations so that this does not happen again. In addition, 6 of the targeted people automatically reported the mail as malicious after receiving it. Their intuition on the matter was the right one.

GitLab's example on this test highlights a certain fact. Phishing is always something difficult to fight, to see eradicated. Chris Rothe, the founder and product manager of Red Canary, a threat detection company, noted a little bit: "Phishing is a great example of something that can't be totally prevented (…) Because e-mail is an essential business function, it must be optimized for its commercial function and not for security in most cases. There are many strategies that IT teams can use to reduce the number of successful phishing attacks – blocking emails, counting and analyzing attachments, awareness training – but there is no 100% solution."

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Coronavirus as the main theme for phishing campaigns

The coronavirus today is the news of all the news.

It is impossible to turn on a television, a radio or even connect to the Internet today without at any time being challenged by any publication, or pandemic announcement. This media coverage of the disease is a boon for hackers. Indeed, they will use it to carry out their phishing companions. As a reminder, phishing is a technique used by cyber-prisoners to extract personal information from web users.

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How does he do it? It's simple, in fact it is all content to send to their targets, often randomly to a group of people, information or messages related to a particular topic. Of course, these themes are something that are topical and that they will be able to attract the attention of the targeted people. In our case, we have coronavirus. A theme today that is on everyone's lips. After sending the messages, which usually is done via e-mails, but in some particular cases by text message or message via messaging app such as WhatsApp, people who have received this correspondence, are usually asked to click on a link in order to have more information or to perform a particular action. If, unfortunately, an individual clicks on the relevant link, it is automatically redirected to a website controlled by hackers. Of course, this website will look like an official website. Often, under these conditions, hackers duplicate the websites of social networks or companies with strong digital affinities. The unwary user will then be asked to fill out information fields often, where he will be asked for passwords of the login credentials exetera. In this way, cyber-prisoners will simply collect information that they will use for their own purposes.

In a situation like the one we are going through today, this method is likely to do a lot of damage. Indeed, it has been shown that internet traffic has literally exploded since different countries introduced systems of containment of their population. Not to mention the increasing number of teleworks. Added all this with the concern about the spread of coronavirus that does not seem to stop, we are then in a situation where cyber-prisoners will also be able to take advantage of the naivety of web users about the pandemic.

Joseph Blankenship, vice president and director of research at Forrester Research, wrote: "Cybercriminals take full advantage of this and launch pandemic-specific phishing attacks. In the first quarter of 2020, we saw an increase of more than 600% in Covid-19-related phishing attacks and, last week, more than 18 million daily phishing and coronavirus-specific malware attacks. ». He later noted: "A favourable context for their effectiveness. These attacks are very effective for two reasons. First, people are afraid. Everyone's daily routine has changed and we have no idea when it will return to normal. So when you see an email promising news on the Covid-19, you may be tempted to click to get some answers. ».

So how do you protect yourself from it? Especially for companies that are generally the most vulnerable, due to the introduction of telework a little hasty.

First, it should be noted that awareness will be the basis in such a context. People who are assigned to telework as well as individuals should be aware that it is very unwise to click on links from unsung correspondence. On the other hand, cyber-prisoners sometimes impersonate official institutions in order to deceive. That's why you should always be careful and never click on a link you receive by email, regardless of the recipient until you have an official confirmation of that person's identity. Instead, it is advisable to always check the reference to be sure of the correct syntax for email addresses or other credentials. In addition, the use of a security protocol or protection software is required. Forrester's vice-president advised: "Protection requires a layered approach that starts with email authentication. The DMARC, or Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance, is an email authentication process that manages and monitors your inbox to ensure that only verified contacts reach a user's inbox. ».

In addition, it should be noted that this type of cyberattack is predictable. The most important thing to protect against it is discipline. Because, whether you like it or not, you'll be targeted. It's just a matter of time if you haven't already been.

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The issue of phishing

It was already known that the coronavirus pandemic had made hackers more active.

They see a windfall to make the most of it, and to launch more and more campaign. Computer security experts have warned from the beginning of this pandemic, and even try to organize to help as best they can. Lately, it has been observed, an explosion of the use of the technique called phishing or even in English call phishing.

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The world's most common method of cybercrime.According to cybersecurity firm Barracuda Networks, there is a substantial 667% increase in phishing use. And this has been noticed through the emails sent targeting anyone usually dealing with the theme of coronavirus.

Public and international institutions are not fooled. They have already begun to warn all users of potential attacks that are carried out or prepared under the guise of impersonation. For example, WHO, for its part, warns anyone who is malicious using their visual identity for criminal purposes and promises sanctions. Jobcentre in France warned: "The circulation of fraudulent emails which the issuer pretends to be Pôle Emploi. Our teams do everything possible to keep you safe." The organization will then add: "Access to your personal space is strictly confidential. Job pole won't ask you for them. Also, always delete fraudulent emails without responding to them. If you have any doubts about a message, contact your advisor." The Family Allowance Fund, for its part, did not fail to reiterate its warnings against "those who abuse the situation by impersonating the Caf"

Ely de Travieso, president of the Security and Information Club (Clusir), a CPME IT security consultant, pointed out: "Pirates are surfing in particular on the very strong emotion aroused, the stress caused but also the new working conditions, in a technical environment not always secure. ». He later added: "There is a very large increase in viral attacks around Covid-19, which follow the areas most affected by the pandemic: Asia, Italy, eastern France and Paris… and the region most certainly. »

Whether it's a ransomware attack, or potential data theft, these computer attacks will be initiated after several phishing attempts or cyber criminals have managed to infiltrate targeted networks. And this is starting to be a trend in Provence. To prevent individuals from getting caught up in this kind of deceptive practices, Ely de Travieso recommends keys to good digital hygiene: "These are common sense and prudent uses. It is necessary to follow a few rules of practice such as having an up-to-date computer system and office suite. These are precautionary principles that anyone can do, without any investment, and that correspond to the first level of computer hygiene. The second is to change passwords, because we bring professional life into the context of the home, and the third is to be vigilant in his downloads of documents, because cyber criminals know very well usurped public institutions, especially in these times when the emotion is great! ».

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Data leak at US operators T-Mobile and Virgin Media

It was officially announced within a week a leak of data from major telephone operators.

Several pieces of information were presented, including that belonging to employees and customers. According to several experts, this would be based on a phishing campaign so it is unsuspecting. They then recommend that companies pay more and more attention.

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The leak was discovered on March 5, 2020, i.e. 3 days of this, did not have the US and British mobile operators themselves declaring that they had been victim of a hack. These two data can be described as a major regarding the nature of the information that has been exposed. At that time, we were able to discover information such as names, postal addresses, e-mails, phone numbers, phone numbers, customer references and other individual information. But by referring to what Telecom operators have said, banking information may not have affected, even for the first time their employees. On the Virgin media side, there were about 900,000 people affected by the security breach. However T mobile claims not to be able to determine the exact number of people affected by data leakage. In addition, he notified the fact that the services affected were automatically deactivated.

As far as the operators are at fault in these leaks, operators defend themselves differently. Indeed on virgin mobile's side it is said that the leak is not due to an attack rather, a poor configuration of the management system databases. Especially the data that was dedicated to marketing. It's from a security breach allowed a hacker to take advantage of it. When asked about the issue, Ernest Doku, an expert in cybersecurity tries to explain in a slightly different context: "Nearly one million Virgin Media customers are rightly worried to learn that their personal data has been accessed without protection since last summer.

Ten months is a long period, more than enough for scammers to take advantage of these resources. It is fortunate that only one user, identity remains unknown, has been granted access to this information. But it's enough sometimes from one person to have the data resold to cybercriminals. Virgin Media will have no choice but to review its policies to ensure that such an event does not happen again. The company will also have to reassure its customers about the level of protection of their data." it is for this reason that the expert advises all person affected by the data leak to "beware of any email in from unusual recipients and not clicking on links"

For the AMERICAN mobile operator T, the data leak on its side would be caused: "sophisticated cyber attack. ». The hacker originally succeeded first by attacking the employee messaging service. It is from this, following a phishing campaign he succeeded his shot. This makes the second security breach directly affecting the Telecom operator in just 5 months.

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Recognize email attacks, the need for training for users

In its sixth annual report, cybersecurity firm Proofpoint highlighted the importance of training users of digital solutions in certain approaches to email attacks.

This justifies an increase in phishing attacks via corrupt mail. In practical terms, the cybersecurity firm has counted about 50 million phishing attacks via corrupted emails.

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In setting up its report, proofpoint interviewed more than 3,500 employees across 7 countries and hundreds

companies. It has been noted that 90% of its international companies have once at least suffered an attack via compromised business emails (BEC) from phishing. what clearly demonstrates that hackers are increasingly determined to attack computer systems Final. Similarly, 78% of companies acknowledged that cybersecurity training has greatly promoted the decrease in computer attacks at phishing. Joe Ferrara, Vice President Senior and General Manager of Safety Awareness Training Proofpoint told proofpoint: "Effective cybersecurity training needs to be focus on the issues and activities that matter most to the company's mission (…) We recommend taking an approach to people-centred cybersecurity by combining training with awareness-wide outreach with company-focused exercises Threats. The aim is to empower users to recognize and to report attacks. ».

The focus this year has been much more on returns end-users. What was essential to establishing a balance sheet assess the behaviour of company staff in the face of different threats impose themselves on him. In its investigation, the cybersecurity firm mentioned that all reported messages have incredibly increased in volume in just one year. Indeed, he reported by end-users more than 9 million letters electronics only in 2019. that which is up 67% from 2018. From a certain point of view, this increase seems much more positive for computer security experts. in indeed, thanks to this, researchers were able to demonstrate a total increase in targeted computer attacks. This personalization of computer attacks appeals to users who have yet to redouble their efforts.

Regarding Proofpoint's overall conclusions regarding the trends of computer attacks via phishing, the company pointed to the fact that half of the companies approached had to deal with a successful phishing case in 2019. In addition, cybersecurity experts have frequently notified several attempted attacks based on social engineering. Concretely, let's say that 88% of companies worldwide have reported a phishing attack. 86 percent of them reported a booby-trapped email attack (BEC). 86% reported an attack via social networks, 84% via phishing text messages and 81% via compromised USB downloads.

In addition, 65% of IT security experts in a company reported being a victim of ransomware at least once in 2019. Of these, 33% agreed to pay ransoms and 22% never had access to their data.

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