The reason it stood out was how the story was told; it wasn’t just a bunch of technical mumbo jumbo that is tough to decipher. In the corporate environment, one of the biggest spear phishing attacks was that on email marketing services company Epsilon back in 2011. Phishing attacks are at their highest level in three years. If BEC attacks have been getting a lot more coverage in 2019, it’s because there has been an uptick in activity and in losses reported by businesses and individuals. For each month from July to September 2019, they reported over 80,000 phishing sites, with three-quarters of all attacks targeting just three industry sectors: SaaS/webmail (33 … However, they are also a portal through which attackers can take advantage of our human nature. 12. Judging by the amount of activity, the phishing industry is a thriving business. The most successful type of phishing attack is the so-called spear-phishing attack, which is specifically aimed at individuals or certain companies. It is important to update your software once you get update notification. Do not post anything that you do not want a potential scanner to see! Effectively preventing these attacks requires monitoring all these activities and, often, in real-time. The phisher acquires personal details of victims such as their friends, hometown, employer, locations they frequent, and what they have recently bought online. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer. The same survey also indicates that 86% of respondents reported dealing with business email compromise (BEC) attacks. Europol noted that 65 percent of targeted attacks involved spear phishing as the primary infection vector. Many scams, especially the ones that target private individuals are likely never reported but still, perform their mission with devastating precision. Some spear phishing attack examples include: Irony struck the security giant RSA in March 2011 when the systems behind the EMC division’s flagship SecurID 2-factor authentication product were compromised using spear phishing. Top leadership should encourage the development and refining of dedicated, Organizations should also conduct a yearly review of controls and processes to get assurances of their effectiveness. Organizations and individuals must remain vigilant for spear phishing and BEC attacks by combining awareness with robust security controls and processes that boost overall cyber resilience. However, attackers leveraging wire transfers were able to move substantially more money ($52,325 on average) compared to those choosing the gift card route, who averaged just $1,571. The attack involved an email with a link to a malicious site which resulted in downloading of Win32.BlkIC.IMG, which disabled anti-virus software, a Trojan keylogger called iStealer, that was used to steal passwords, and an administration tool called CyberGate, which was used to gain complete remote control of compromised systems. Because phishing is a means to an end, one common follow-up that’s often observed alongside a phishing campaign is business email compromise (BEC). Even though RSA managed to spot the attack in progress, the attackers still managed to steal sensitive data from RSA’s network. In 2018, reports of credential compromise rose 70% over 2017, and they’ve soared 280% since 2016. The longer the password is, the harder it will be to crack. According to a new market research report published by Acute Market Reports “Global Spear Phishing Protection Market – Growth, Future Prospects, and Competitive Analysis,2019 – 2027”, the overall spear phishing protection market has been registered a market value of US$ 923.65 Mn in 2018 and is set to grow with a CAGR of 11.60 % during the forecast period. Your curiosity to see what's in the message and the personalized nature of the message with your first name are examples of factors working against you to encourage you to click or open the malware. BEC attacks often involve tricking the victim into transferring funds to accounts under attackers’ control, and fraudsters have three main vehicles for “cashing out” in this way. This is measured by the share of users whose Anti-Phishing solutions were triggered by users in those countries. From a global law enforcement perspective, Europol recently released a report focused on spear phishing that noted how “spear phishing is still one of the most common and most dangerous attack vectors.” The report further detailed how one organized criminal group caused over 1 billion dollars in losses to the financial services industry by leveraging spear phishing as part of their activities to move money via ATM withdrawals and wire transfers. There is a running theme in the reports from the APWG and Europol and the warnings from the FBI/IC3: Take phishing seriously and review your preparations now. Analysis and insights from hundreds of the brightest minds in the cybersecurity industry to help you prove compliance, grow business and stop threats. As phishers up their game in terms of both the frequency and capabilities of their attacks, HR and organizations’ security functions must work together to achieve more than awareness. Globally, there were over 150,000 victims, with more than 26 billion dollars at stake. According to, Implement best practices for responding to. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of equities.com. “Phishing and malware will also continue to be relentless threats, leveraged by both cybercriminals and APT actors that require organizations to address the inadvertent actor risk.” — 2019 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index Report. Email, web, social media, SMS, and mobile apps are all major parts of our digital lives. With regard to cyber espionage, phishing was used in 78 percent of cases. (Source: Varonis ) In Q1 of 2019, 21.7% of all phishing attempts Kaspersky Labs tracked were aimed at Brazilian users. 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