Machine learning has improved the quality of cybersecurity. There are countless and more advanced tools, however, that cybercriminals continue to develop in order to counter the defences. However, the hackers find the most success with good old Phishing techniques – and guess what! They are getting a lot better at it. Phishing has led to a number of companies to lose not just money, but credibility as well. And all it takes for massive financial damage to occur is just one successful Phishing email; that’s it!
There has been a lot of evolution in Phishing techniques. The Phishing emails are sent through a variety of infrastructure, making the use of different URLs or IP addresses or even a very different domain. Many of these emails contain a type of malware and the goal of the hacker is to get personal information, usernames and passwords. This information is either used in an attack some way or the other or sold to other hackers. The compromised email accounts are often used to spread malicious links and download both inside and outside an enterprise or an organization. Hackers have begun to use several different modes of email attack, namely short, which is only active for a few minutes; extended, which is considerably longer and “serial variant” which is active for several days at a time at a low volume.
As these Phishing techniques grow in their innovation and sophistication, it will serve us all to have become more vigilant. This can only be done through awareness and training so that the staffs know how to recognize Phishing emails and social engineering. Of course, there are a number of defences you can employ that will detect any sort of malware, but don’t underestimate the power of staff knowledge.
The previous year, Trend Micro had discovered a Phishing campaign that makes use of the compromised email accounts in order to reply to email threads. This makes the email look legitimate; however, the email chain contained that malware, a banking Trojan as well as spyware, which victims downloaded without being the wiser.
Tightening security is always considered to be a good idea. There are many solutions out there to ensure that our network is protected. However, it is also important to remember that when it comes to Phishing, no one, however, is immune. Hackers are targeting the CEOs and their support staff as well as the accounts manager. As much as we do our part to make sure that the cybercriminals don’t get into our network, the criminals are working just as hard to find a way in.
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