Black Friday Cyber Monday – Stop … Look … Think! 0 1248

Phishing email

Customers are not the only ones feeling opportunistic with the great deals offered over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period, cyber criminals are too. The large scale of SALE communications sent to users prompting customers to “Click Here” and receive the deal of lifetime (for example) has created limitless ways for cybercriminals to cash in on unsuspecting victims. These communications come in the form of emails, SMS’s and social media posts, all of which can be easily replicated by cyber criminals.

We consulted our tech expert Dennis Koome on how to stay safe when shopping online.

So what do you, the customer, need to do to stay safe?

Stop, Look and Think

How’s your internet security mindset?

– Have you ever looked at yourself up online to see what information is out there about you?

– Have you clicked in any links in emails or on websites offering discounts?

– When shopping online, do you check the security status of the website?

– Have you paid attention to or customized your twitter, Facebook, skype, email security settings?

– At home, do you have an external backup source for your computer?

 

Some Terminologies:

  1. Spam: Unsolicited bulk commercial email messages.
  2. Phishing: Refers to tricking individuals into disclosing sensitive personal information or taking a potentially dangerous action, such as opening an infected attachment or visiting a compromised web link using deception via email.
  3. Spear Phishing: Refers to a form of phishing where the attack specifically targets an individual or a group. Since the attacker has researched the target and crafted their attack accordingly, spear phishing attacks are more likely to succeed.
  4. Spoofing: Refers to tricking or deceiving you or your system. This is done by hiding the sender’s identity or faking the identity of another user. This may involve sending messages from a bogus email address of another user.

 

DO’s and DON’TS

DON’TS:

  1. Open any email attachments that end with: .exe, .scr, .bat, .com, or other executable files you do not recognize
  2. “unsubscribe” – it is easier to delete the e-mail than to deal with the security risks.
  3. Respond or reply to spam in any way. Use the delete button
  4. Ever click embedded links in messages without hovering your mouse over them first to check the URL.

Always:

  1. Check the email ‘From’ field to validate the sender. This ‘From’ address may be spoofed.
  2. Note that www.eset.com and www.support.eset.software.com are two different domains
  3. Check for so-called ‘double-extended’ scam attachments. A text file named ‘safe.txt’ is safe, but a file called ‘safe.txt.exe’ is not.

Tips for Password Security

  1. Keep your passwords private – never share a password with anyone else.
  2. Do not write down your passwords.
  3. Use passwords of at least eight (8) characters or more (longer is better).
  4. Use a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters (for example: !, @, &, %, +) in all passwords.
  5. Avoid using people’s or pet’s names, or words found in the dictionary; it’s also best to avoid using key dates (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.). Substituting look-alike characters for letters or numbers is no longer sufficient (for example, Password” and “P@ssw0rd”).
  6. A strong password should look like a series of random characters.
  7. On the web, if you think your password may have been compromised, change it at once and then check your website accounts for misuse. At work, change your password at once, and then call your company’s IT Security help desk.

Be on Alert for any email that asks:

  1. Replying (including sending an “unsubscribe” answer)
  2. Clicking any hyperlinks in the message (and that includes “unsubscribe” link)
  3. Opening an attachment.
  4. Forwarding the email message to others.
  5. Offers to gain something of value.
  6. Requires urgent, immediate action to avoid a negative consequence or to mitigate a threat.
  7. Asks you to resolve an urgent problem.

Recommended

When online shopping, it is recommended to do so on your personal internet connection rather than on a public WiFi connection, especially when required to enter passwords, banking details and personal information.

It is also recommended to secure all of your devices with internet security, many of us forget about our phones or tablets when we think about security however these devices are still avenues of attack!

To see the security solutions available for all of your devices including Security Awareness training, please go to our website or contact us at sales@esetafrica.com.

 

Previous ArticleNext Article

Hacking and targeted cyber-attacks as a result of anti-competitive practices in business 0 92

Targeted Attacks

In ongoing consultations with clients, large companies named targeted attacks and hacking as two of their biggest security challenges since they can seriously impact the continuity of business activities in an organization.

Attackers have many means to infiltrate companies. However, many attacks, don’t require a very high level of technological sophistication. Instead, techniques like targeted social engineering, i.e. spear phishing, or the use of known vulnerabilities for which, patches may have been issued but businesses have not yet deployed, can lead to damaged reputation, revenue and data breaches.

On the other hand, high levels of sophistication can also be utilized as is in the case of a Zero Day attack.  Chief among these was Stuxnet, a recorded attack where malicious code successfully deployed four zero-day vulnerabilities to impede a uranium enrichment program in Iran, and which, according to media, was a state-sponsored attack.

There are many reasons why organizations become repeat targets. Their bank accounts contain more resources than those of an average person or small business and they also have considerable amounts of interesting data that can be monetized. Attacks targeting companies can also be used as a form of competition. Most often, this concerns data hunting, i.e. obtaining interesting information or intellectual property. These attacks can be accompanied by blackmail. For example, a client database is stolen from a company and is later approached by the perpetrators and asked, “what they are going to do about their loss”.

Different ways to monetize attacks bring different consequences

Organizations often find it difficult to admit they have been breached by these types of attacks. Consequently, this may give other companies the false impression that such attacks happen only occasionally. A typical example of targeted attacks, common in recent years, are DDoS as a Service – attacks, which are sponsored by one company to attack the website of another, with the effect of disrupting business and directing customers away from the targeted company and (possibly) towards the attacker’s “employer”. These are criminal tactics, and the attackers know very well which business areas to target for maximum gain.

There are of course other approaches. Take the example of the British National Health Service, which has become a frequent target of ransomware attacks. Digitization of health services has resulted in a situation where the malicious encryption of medical data may lead to a halt in medical interventions and surgeries. Under such conditions, targeted organizations are often more inclined to pay a ransom for the “hijacked” patient data.

In Kenya attackers have been known to target their attacks to banks and financial institutions, with figures of Ksh400 million being reported stolen from an unnamed local bank and Ksh29 million from National Bank of Kenya in 2018 alone.

Innovative approaches to old tricks

In many rural areas worldwide, one quick glance at powerlines will reveal how easy it is to make illegal connections to the power grid. As of late, cyberattackers have followed a similar model, focusing their resources on illegally mining various cryptocurrencies, which have proven to be highly popular in the public’s imagination.

A more complex example was a targeted attack meant to infect StatCounter, which provides a service  very similar to Google Analytics and uses a special script legitimately placed on websites to obtain data about website visitors. In this case, attackers successfully breached StatCounter and subsequently gained access to the service’s end users by injecting JavaScript code in all websites that use Stat Counter’s service.

The problem came to light when visitors navigated to the now compromised websites which contained the infected scrip, and who’s devices then began covertly mining bitcoins for the attackers. During the second stage, the attackers proceeded to steal bitcoins directly from infected devices when they attempted to access a popular cryptocurrency exchange. To get an idea of the scale of such an operation, StatCounter can be found on more than two million websites.

Such an attack means that system resources of infected devices at the company legitimately using the service are additionally tasked to mine. This may not concern only computers, but also mobile devices and especially servers. The subsequent cryptomining accelerates wear and tear on devices and also increases electricity bills. In addition, we should not forget that malicious cryptomining code is usually capable of uploading other types of malicious script onto the network.

Investigations may take months and are looking for a needle in a haystack

When a large company falls victim to such an attack, it is necessary to carry out a complicated investigation of what happened and how the company has been affected. Research shows that it takes about 150-200 days for companies to find out they’ve been infected. Further investigation regarding the method by which the company was infected and where the malicious code originated may take even longer.

Facing such substantial risks, large companies should leverage solutions like ESET Dynamic Threat Defense to detect new, never before seen threats.

To find out more about ESET Dynamic Threat Defense or to request a free in-house cyber security training session for your organisation, please sign up below.

Ransomware Protection Crucial to Enterprise 0 281

Ransomware

Ransomware is by far the biggest threat among Enterprises.  So what is Ransomware? It is a malicious code that blocks or encrypts the contents of a device and demands a ransom to restore access to the data.

According to research done by ESET,  Companies named ransomware their number one concern.

In response to customer needs and concerns, ESET integrated Ransomware Shield into its security solutions. ESET has long been providing its customers with very good behavior-based malware detection and also with Host-based Intrusion Prevention System (HIPS) that allows users to set custom rules for the protection against ransomware. However, should something slip past the 11 other security layers, Ransomware Shield will be automatically activated.

While ransomware infection often starts with clicking a suspicious link or a fictitious invoice, ESET found that email remains the most common distribution method.

To combat these scenarios, enter ESET Dynamic Threat Defense (EDTD). EDTD provides another layer of security for ESET products like Mail Security and Endpoint products. It utilizes a cloud-based sandboxing technology and multiple machine learning models to detect new, never before seen type of threats. In result, attachments that were classified as malicious are stripped off the email and the recipient gets information about the detection.

To learn more about how ESET can protect your business, and to book a FREE in house Cybersecurity Training Session for your employees, please sign up below.

Free Training