The longer the password is, the harder it will be to crack. This is very different to antivirus or other malware protection tools that look only at isolated instances of attack. Phishing Activity Trends Report, 3rd Quarter 2019 ! The 2019 report — our fifth annual — has been significantly expanded, offering more data and analysis than ever before. You have to be logged in to leave a comment. In a BEC attack, a scammer targets employees who have access to company finances, usually by sending them email from fake or compromised email accounts (a “spear phishing” attack). Healthcare data is apparently worth more on the black market than even financial data and could have potentially resulted in profits of millions of dollars for perpetrators. 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. Many scams, especially the ones that target private individuals are likely never reported but still, perform their mission with devastating precision. Spear phishing may sound simple, but the attack emails have greatly improved in the last few years and are now extremely difficult to detect. The City of Naples says the cyber attack that resulted in the loss of $700,000 was a "sophisticated" spear phishing strategy. According to APWG’s Phishing Activity … InfoSec, Risk, and Privacy Strategist - Minnesota State University, Mankato, 2019 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index Report, Business Email Compromise: The $26 Billion Scam, fake unusual sign-in activity notifications, incident response and investigation processes, The structure of the organization — who works where and to whom they report, The various tools, skills and knowledge bases staff use routinely, The processes in place at that particular organization or location, Review your organization’s social engineering footprint, especially on the topics of structure, processes and software. Without proper protocol and security measures in place, a targeted attack could spell disaster for your organisation. The attackers managed to get one of the targets to open an email attachment which ended up installing a variant of the Poison Ivy Trojan using a zero-day vulnerability in Adobe Flash. spear phishing attack. Let's discuss some terms first. Phishing attacks have been increasing steadily throughout 2019. Proofpoint’s 2019 State of the Phish Report found that 83% of respondents were hit by at least one spear phishing attack in last year. 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 … sure the authenticity of the links present in email body before clicking on it. Targeted spear phishing attacks are carefully designed to go undetected. 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. Phishing is the act of sending emails that falsely claim to be from a legitimate organization. Use logic when opening email, and do not click links in emails. This is an interesting example of spear phishing targeting private individuals as opposed to business. I recommend a storage and data protection assessment be conducted twice a year Spear phishing campaigns are still hackers’ most-used attack vector in 2019, with over 90% of successful data breaches occurring as a result of a spear-phishing attack. From 2013 to 2019, the FBI reported nearly 70,000 American victims, totaling over 10 billion dollars in losses for the U.S. alone. 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. How is spear phishing different from the regular phishing? Phishing attacks are at their highest level in three years. One year after the arrest made in Spain, spear phishing is still one of the most common and most dangerous attack vectors seen by both, law enforcement and industry. Come 2019, cyber criminals have upped their game and according to new research, cyber criminals will continue to target end users. Username and password do not match or you do not have an account yet. Effectively preventing these attacks requires monitoring all these activities and, often, in real-time. Chris Veltsos is a professor in the Department of Computer Information Science at Minnesota State University, Mankato where he regularly teaches Information ... read more. For example, the website, Europol has indicated that many organizations are simply unprepared to investigate spear phishing and BEC incidents adequately. Scammers invest heavily in creating innovative spoofs, and people and businesses must also invest accordingly, including incorporating measures against known cases of spear phishing or using advanced machine learning techniques that can predict the likelihood of an email being part of a spear phishing attack. 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. In addition, spear phishing attacks can deploy malware to hijack computers, organizing them into enormous networks called botnets that can be used for denial of service attacks. Phishing is social engineering using digital channels. “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.