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4/9/2016
08:00 AM
Steve Zurier
Steve Zurier
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The 8 Most Convincing Phishing Schemes Of 2016

The year is young and high-profile phishing attacks keep coming seemingly every week. Here are eight reasons why security pros have to get serious about combating phishing.
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Locky

On February 16 of this year, PhishMe's intelligence team identified a number of significantly large sets of emails that delivered Word documents containing macro scripts used to download malware. PhishMe says this common malware technique and has been used by groups delivering the Dridex Trojan. 

But this encryption ransomware was something new, referring to itself as Locky. One important difference was that it broke from the exclusive use of Visual Basic scripting. Instead, Locky used a PowerShell script to download and execute the malware.

Palo Alto Networks reports that more than 400,000 endpoints around the world were affected by Locky in a matter of hours.

While there are clear differences, PhishMe adds that the similarity of the messages and the OfficeMacro documents used to deliver Locky and those used to deliver Dridex is striking. Even the payload URLs were constructed in a way that resembles the naming convention used to deliver Dridex.

Image Source: PhishMe, Dark Reading

Locky

On February 16 of this year, PhishMes intelligence team identified a number of significantly large sets of emails that delivered Word documents containing macro scripts used to download malware. PhishMe says this common malware technique and has been used by groups delivering the Dridex Trojan.

But this encryption ransomware was something new, referring to itself as Locky. One important difference was that it broke from the exclusive use of Visual Basic scripting. Instead, Locky used a PowerShell script to download and execute the malware.

Palo Alto Networks reports that more than 400,000 endpoints around the world were affected by Locky in a matter of hours.

While there are clear differences, PhishMe adds that the similarity of the messages and the OfficeMacro documents used to deliver Locky and those used to deliver Dridex is striking. Even the payload URLs were constructed in a way that resembles the naming convention used to deliver Dridex.

Image Source: PhishMe, Dark Reading

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nathanwburke
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nathanwburke,
User Rank: Author
4/13/2016 | 6:17:55 AM
Re: These problems were all preventable
Security awareness training can help, but that is also just one piece of a comprehensive security plan that includes the triumvirate of People, Process and Technology. Security awareness training can help with the People component, making employees more cognizant of the low-level, commodity attacks that use emails with attachments and links to compromised sites. 

However, this only applies to the obvious. Don't download and run applications from attachments. Don't click links in emails from people you don't know.  The problem is that many attacks are more sophisticated. In some cases, the phishing attack comes from a compromised email address using language that mimics the hacked sender. In those cases, all of the awareness training available will likely fail.

Creating a Process for flagging potentially malicious activity and quickly removing any threat organization-wide is key to reducing risk of threats introduced accidentally (despite awareness training). Having Technology in place to identify and remediate obvious threats is essential to keeping this process timely and scalable.

Awareness training is important, but simply telling people not to do the obvious isn't enough anymore.
Dan Euritt
50%
50%
Dan Euritt,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/11/2016 | 10:39:10 AM
These problems were all preventable
All companies should be conducting awareness training on these issues, and this article looks like a great place to start. Thanks for posting it up.
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