Risk
5/13/2014
12:00 PM
Rohyt Belani
Rohyt Belani
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Infographic: The Story Of A Phish

Are your employees like Troy, blissfully unaware of the dangers of spear phishing?

Spear phishing has gained wide acceptance across the security industry as the majority source of cyber-attacks. How do adversaries develop spear phishing emails? Attackers target specific organizations that offer information of strategic or economic value. Once a target organization has been identified, attackers will use social media and publicly available information to research employees of that organization to target with a spear phishing email.

Spear phishing typically targets lower and mid-level employees -- like Troy in the infograhic we developed at PhishMe, a security awareness training company -- instead of high-level executives or IT operators. The massive amount of information available on social networks gives attackers plenty of fodder to craft highly personalized emails, as is illustrated in Troy's story.

Spear phishing campaigns like this one can be used to execute drive-by attacks with a malicious link, drop malware on to the network with an email attachment, or gather login credentials through old-fashioned social engineering. Attackers can exploit zero-day vulnerabilities to bypass anti-virus measures and drop malware on to the target network, but they may also avoid malware altogether.

These emails will attempt to exploit emotions (such as greed, fear, or curiosity), spoof reputable organizations (like a recipient's bank), or reference current events to appeal to recipients. The sheer volume of emails being sent every day often allows spear phishing emails to slip past spam filters and into employee inboxes.

Like Troy, most recipients will open and read a spear phishing email within hours -- if not minutes -- of receiving it, allowing attackers to gain a foothold quickly in the target network and begin their operations. With cybercrime costing organizations an average increasing from $8.9 million to $11.6 million from 2012 to 2013, organizations can expect adversaries to continue carrying out cyber-attacks by targeting users through spear phishing.

How are you educating users about the dangers of spear phishing. Let's chat about it on the comments.

Rohyt has over a decade of experience in the information security industry, with prior roles including co-founder and CEO of Intrepidus Group (acquired by NCC Group), Managing Director at Mandiant (acquired by FireEye), Principal Consultant at Foundstone (acquired by McAfee), ... View Full Bio
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
JérômeM921
50%
50%
JérômeM921,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/14/2014 | 1:29:22 AM
tetraupload.com
Tetraupload VPN 
This is why we must use a very good vpn like TetraUpload VPN  http://tetraupload.com  

Encrypt my data and secure my internet connection! 
Randy Naramore
50%
50%
Randy Naramore,
User Rank: Ninja
5/13/2014 | 4:03:35 PM
Re: Phish tale
Big point being, Phishers use social media to get information about users. This should be a lesson for all, don't put too much information on social media. 
Marilyn Cohodas
50%
50%
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
5/13/2014 | 12:19:54 PM
Phish tale
"Troy's" story makes a strong case about how vulnerable employees are in the daily work grind of work, email and social media. It was interesting to me that 40 percent of cyber attacks were targeted  towards the utility industry. Are those phishing attacks or just attacks in general? 
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-3051
Published: 2014-10-29
The Internet Service Monitor (ISM) agent in IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager (ITCAM) for Transactions 7.1 and 7.2 before 7.2.0.3 IF28, 7.3 before 7.3.0.1 IF30, and 7.4 before 7.4.0.0 IF18 does not verify X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof s...

CVE-2014-3668
Published: 2014-10-29
Buffer overflow in the date_from_ISO8601 function in the mkgmtime implementation in libxmlrpc/xmlrpc.c in the XMLRPC extension in PHP before 5.4.34, 5.5.x before 5.5.18, and 5.6.x before 5.6.2 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) via (1) a crafted first argument t...

CVE-2014-3669
Published: 2014-10-29
Integer overflow in the object_custom function in ext/standard/var_unserializer.c in PHP before 5.4.34, 5.5.x before 5.5.18, and 5.6.x before 5.6.2 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via an argument to the unserialize function ...

CVE-2014-3670
Published: 2014-10-29
The exif_ifd_make_value function in exif.c in the EXIF extension in PHP before 5.4.34, 5.5.x before 5.5.18, and 5.6.x before 5.6.2 operates on floating-point arrays incorrectly, which allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (heap memory corruption and application crash) or possibly exec...

CVE-2014-3694
Published: 2014-10-29
The (1) bundled GnuTLS SSL/TLS plugin and the (2) bundled OpenSSL SSL/TLS plugin in libpurple in Pidgin before 2.10.10 do not properly consider the Basic Constraints extension during verification of X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and ob...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.