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Why You Need to Study Nation-State Attacks
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MarkusJakobsson
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MarkusJakobsson,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/26/2017 | 12:10:57 PM
Re: $0phiStic4ti0n
It is true that, by itself, a homograph attack would not be so sophisticated. But here it was part of a bigger picture. The attack also used other deceptive techniques, such as:

* Spoof the email from a source (accounts.googlemail.com) that *looked like* the source from which real notifications would be sent ([email protected]) ...
* ... where this domain was not used by Google, and Google did not have a DMARC policy in place that caused rejection traffic appearing to come from subdomains not in use.

Of course, the attackers could have done "better" -- after all, the email was delivered in the spam folder of the intended victims. They could, for example, have used the "Spam phishinhg" techniques described by Hossein Siadati at the recent Decepticon conference, to overcome this drawback.

Maybe the attackers fouled up. Maybe they did not realize. Or maybe it just did not matter much to them: their yield was sufficient for them to be satisfied.

Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
8/26/2017 | 10:12:43 AM
$0phiStic4ti0n
I agree with the overall points, but...

"replacing some of their letters with Cyrillic letters that look the same to humans, but which thwart keyword-based filters"

...this can hardly be described, in my mind, as "sophisticated." It's no more sophisticated than people thinking their being secure by replacing the letter "o" in their passwords with numeral 0.


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