Social Engineering Attacks on the Rise

Currently the most prevalent attacks are based on Phishing.

A Phishing attack is generally an email that appears to be from a known or trusted sender, but is instead an attempt to steal your credentials.  It typically leads you to a login prompt that looks identical to your email or other website login page, and is an attempt to trick you into giving the attackers your account credentials.

A couple of examples:

  • Your email provider asking you to login to a system or website,
  • A trusted associate asking you to “open the attached document,”
  • Your boss asking you to initiate a wire transfer to one of your vendors.

A lot of times, these emails are fraudulent.  The intent is to gain access to an account such as your email or bank account.  From there they are able to gain control of your data or money, and typically use your accounts to further spread their fraudulent emails.

As a MoseSys customer, you are protected in several ways, including exchange mail server anti-spam filters, as well as Webroot anti-virus software.  However, no security measures are infallible.  The next section, employee training is just as vital as any of the other security components.

TRAINING

Probably the most effective tool to mitigate these attacks is proper training of your employees. These are some highlights:

-Never open links or attachments in an email that looks suspicious.

-Never provide your login credentials (email, banking etc.) to a website unless you navigated to that site yourself, directly, without clicking any links in emails or other web pages.

-Do not click a link or open an attachment unless you are expecting it from that specific sender at the time.

-The person sending you the email, although someone you know and trust, may have had their account compromised so that the email actually not coming from them but a hacker who is in control of their account.

-Always double-check the links and sender address to see where they are actually coming from

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From <https://blog.rackspace.com/email-phishing-rise-mailbox-safe>

In the example above, although the underlined blue link appears to directing your browser to paypal.com, by hovering over the link you can see in the bottom grey bar that it’s actually directing you somewhere different.  It’s quite easy to spoof a web-link, or a ‘from’ email address in this manner.

-If you are ever in doubt as to whether a link or attachment is legitimate, pick up the phone and call the person sending it.  Get verbal confirmation from them that it’s safe.

-Look at emails for misspellings, improper grammar, or even strange greetings (Hello Madam!). Often times these attacks are perpetrated by folks who don’t speak English as their first language.

-Be very suspicious of emails that invoke a sense of urgency, trying to get you to act quickly for some stated reason.

-As a rule of thumb, don’t click on links in emails if possible.  If you get an email from FPL asking you to log into your account, instead of clicking the link, open your web browser and type ‘www.fpl.com‘ to access your account.

-Finally, check to see if the SSL certificate is valid.  At the left side of the address bar in most browsers (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox etc) You will see the green padlock symbol to confirm that this web page has a valid certificate from a trusted authority.

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Virtually all websites that ask you to login will have this.  If for any reason you don’t’ see this, or see a red ‘open’ padlock, do not trust the site!

REMEDIATION STEPS

At MoseSys, we have multiple extra security measures that can be implemented to further protect your employees and accounts. Some examples:

-Multi Factor Authentication : any time someone attempts to login to an email account from a new computer or browser, a second form of authentication is required, such as a text message confirmation sent to the employee’s phone

-SafeLinks and SafeAttachments are add-on services available for Office 365 email customers that scan every email your employees receive, analyzing it for dangerous links and/or attachments

-Firewall: Modern security appliances include subscription based services that inspect incoming network traffic, looking for viruses and malware attempting to attack your network.

-Training Seminar: We have prepared a brief 1-1.5 hour seminar for your employees to alert them to the dangers and equip them with the tools necessary to remain safe, and to keep your valuable systems and data safe. Please ask us about this service.

Please contact your MoseSys team today to discuss the possibility of implementing some of these additional security features and services.

If you think you may have clicked on a link in a phishing email, or fallen for an online scam, contact the MoseSys team immediately.  (941) 234-0687

 

 

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