Don’t let new tactics get you phished!

Evolving and progressing in life goes hand in hand. One must always make efforts to progress so life doesn’t get stagnant. However, in recent years phishers seem to have taken this mantra way too seriously; as every year they tend to come up with new tactics to phish their victims. Just with the onset of the new decade, phishers came up with a new technique to swindle victims using the same old phishing technique but with a new twist to make it look more genuine and easy to trick.

What is the hype all about?

In the month of January this year, computer expert Terence Eden brought into the knowledge of people about a new trick that is being used by the phishers. Reportedly, the phishers sent a message to his wife masquerading themselves to be from EE asking for personal information using a different type of URL. Fortunately, Eden’s wife was not a user of EE; however, Eden did manage to notice a weird and new thing in the message. The message read:

As can be clearly seen in the URL above, the phishers have managed to use three elements to make it look genuine.

  1. The use of HTTPS://
  2. Using the real and official subdomain, that is ee.co.uk and,
  3. The main element of the date, that is Jan 02

What is the cause of concern

The elements as stated above has caught all the attention and also the causes of concern.

  1. Use of HTTPS:// – One of the main concerns and reason to worry about is the throwaway prices at which the domain servers provide sub-domain these days. Anyone can easily get access to domain names of popular and established companies, making it difficult for non-tech savvy and people unaware of such attacks to become prey of one. These hoax websites manage to get the SSL certificates due to which the sign of lock is shown in the address bar; which makes the whole act look even more real.
  2. The ee.co.uk was just a subdomain that was replicated and constructed by adding other information which is usually not added in phishing e-mails, making them look more genuine.
  3. The current date was added in the URL which is a new card played by the phisher. When a potential victim comes across such a message, they see “jan02.info” which makes them believe that the link has been directed from the company itself.

How to protect yourself from such attacks?

One can find multiple alternatives to save oneself from phishing attacks like security awareness training, e-mail filters, etc. but to tackle this specific new type of phishing using DMARC protocol has to be your best bet.

DMARC is an abbreviation for domain-based message authentication, reporting, and conformance. This is a protocol that further uses a combination of two frameworks namely, sender policy framework (SPF) and DomainKeys identified mail (DKIM) to authenticate the legitimacy of a website. When the SPF and DKIM fail in proving the authenticity of an e-mail, only then the DMARC protocol works towards protecting the user.

When a DMARC policy is properly configured, it helps the user in deciding whether or not to accept or reject an e-mail from a particular sender. When you use a DMARC for protecting your brand or your individual information, it saves you from receiving messages from unauthorized senders.

DMARC not only protects you from receiving e-mails from phishers but its reports also provide you with information on people who are sending e-mails to other people using the name or domain of your company.

Finally, DMARC does more than just identifying and analyzing e-mails and bogus websites. It also helps in creating a community which helps in establishing a policy that authenticates the messages in circulation. When this happens the overall email environment becomes a safe and secure one.

According to research, more than 70% of e-mails around the globe are fake, 30% of these phishing emails are opened by victims, 9 out of 10 emails have some form of ransomware in it and steady growth of over 4,00,000 phishing sites from the year 2016 has been observed. If these figures were enough to spook you, there is more to it. Therefore before you become one of the victims of such attacks, get your DMARC program installed today.

To sum up final thoughts

The beginning of the new decade has brought with itself some new risks as well. Phishers are trying their best to stay one step ahead and trick people into traps. However, as an aware netizen, you must try not to fall in such a trap and be alert with the link and websites you are visiting. Keeping track of all the new tricks used by phishers and the precautions available to protect oneself will help you in the long run.

TIKAJ’s Anti-phishing service will help secure your intangible treasure.

Make anti-phishing solutions ride shotgun in your company’s modus operandi

A person is always very particular and vigilant when it comes to his or her close one’s secrets. They try to protect it while keeping their lives on stake. This is because they understand the sensitivity and tenderness of the secret and the chaos it can create if they beans get spilled. The same situation works for a company as well. The business owner or the core workers know they sweat and blood they had to invest to make they the company stand at the position it stands today. Therefore, it becomes their utmost priority to safeguard not only the company’s sensitive data but also the reputation and trust the employees and customers lay in it.

The company holds a lot of important matters with it which includes the data, finance, intellectual and intangible property. The security of these elements is as important as the assets itself. When these elements get into the hands of attackers, it can land the company into problems with irreversible consequences. Therefore along with proper awareness among the employers and employees, effective solutions are equally vital. With the advancement of technology and a detailed analysis of the pattern of the attacks by phishers, a number of solutions are now available which can help the company in the long run.

Need for anti-phishing solutions

The need for any solution or service can be best understood by the urgency of its use. Starting with the statistics, in 2018 alone around 880 million phishing e-mails and messages were detected around the globe.

Phishing e-mails disguise themselves as if they are from familiar websites or companies. The e-mails are usually sent in bulk which is a time and cost-efficient method of catching prey. They add attachments or links which contain malware and ransomware making them very dangerous even if a victim clicks on it. Although the phishers have now specialized and upgraded their game, where they attack their victims by creating personalized e-mails for them, which increases the success rate of them falling for it.

The scariest and worrisome part of a phishing attack is that if the attacker gets access to your data, it will months before you could even detect the breach. Even after you detect the breach, it will take you months to contain and get back on its feet to control the damage. This gives the phishers straight-eight months of a headstart to continue with their malicious venture. These reasons add up as to why every company is under the radar of the phishers and how important are these anti-phishing solutions.

How do anti-phishing solutions work?

  • Scans the incoming e-mails- The most important feature of an anti-phishing solution is to scan the e-mails. This is because most phishers make their way into your device through the malicious e-mails they send you. When you click these links or attachments the malware infects your device. However, when you install anti-phishing solutions to your system, the software intercepts the e-mails and lets you know whether or not the e-mail is safe to go ahead with.
  • Processes smart quarantine- You might be wondering what if your important e-mails are marked as spam or get blocked and never reaches you. However, the anti-phishing solutions provide you with smart quarantine which means it will never mess up with your important e-mails or mark it as junk.
  • Real-time blocking of malicious URLs and links- No matter how aware or experience you are with surfing the internet, one misclick is enough to infect your whole network. Therefore, installing a proper anti-phishing solution will stop you in the first place from loading into malicious webpages or clicking on the links. So now you can safely surf the internet and without worrying about malicious webpages or links.
  • Protects all the devices other than a computer- While a number of excellent solutions are available for protecting your computer; there is a lack of cybersecurity options for your mobile phones. As more and more people prefer using their phones for carrying out most of their activities, having proper security options for your phone is equally important. Anti-phishing solutions come as a good tiding as it includes multiple software for protection of your mobile phone and similar devices as well.
  • Prevention from spoofing- If your website earns a lot of traffic or is gaining popularity, you may be a possible target of phishers. They spoof your website and misuse it under your name. Phishers these days also use a number of spoofing e-mails that you might receive. In such cases, anti-phishing solutions sniff out any incoming spoofed e-mail or help in detecting spoofed websites; decreasing truckload of the responsibility off you.

Some final thoughts

It is an important step for all companies to educate and create awareness among the employer and employees regarding the prevalence of phishing attacks and all the possible techniques used by them to phish their victims. It is equally important for them to provide insights as to how these attacks can affect the company in multiple ways. Having said that, the implementation of only security awareness training is not enough for providing all-round security for the company. Every company must install software which can ensure that any kind of phishing attack can be prevented both at the internal and external level; which gets us to the conclusion that anti-phishing solutions are a must in every company or individual’s modus operandi.

Puerto Rico Government Loses $2.6M Due To Email Phishing

Industrial Development Company of Puerto Rico was hit by a phishing scam which cost the government agency more than $2.6 million.

According to this report  the phishing scam started targeting the company in January and the government-owned organization performed the transaction on January 17th.

The organization allegedly received an email alleging a shift to a bank account linked to remittance payments, which is a transfer of money to a person in their home country.

The agency lodged a police complaint about the scam, but further concerns about how the scam was discovered, whether the activities of the agency have been compromised are still unprecedented. 

Phishing attacks have evolved to such an extent that the statistics relating to this subject are quite disconcerting. According to the FBI, in 2019 alone IC3 received a total of 467,361 complaints with reported losses exceeding $3.5 billion. Phishing and Data Breach were among the most prevalent crimes reported last year.

Tips to avoid Phishing scam

  1. Train Employees

    Any organization is only as strong as its weakest employee, so it is necessary to train and educate staff regarding phishing. This training really needs to be delivered on an ongoing basis as well, and they should be educated with different methods for maximum reach.
    Use Phishing Simulation services like PhishGrid to train and educate users regarding phishing attacks and attempts.

  2. Avoid Shortened Links

    Everyone has seen great offers/links on different social media platforms and some of them are useful. Avoid these types of links unless you’re sure about its authenticity.

  3. Verify Site Security

    Whenever you’re entering sensitive financial information or any form of private data, it is essential to verify the security of the site to which you are submitting it.

  4. Be Vigilant

    When dealing with phishing attacks the key is simply to be sensible and vigilant at all times. Never click on the links, download files, or open any email attachments without confirming their authenticity.

  5. Use Anti Phishing Solutions

    TIKAJ provides an end-to-end Anti-Phishing Solutions, from monitoring & detection of phishing incidents, through to the site take-down incident response and take-down of an incident. Using in-house developed machine learning algorithms we detect, analyze and proactively dismantling the systems and illicit services cybercriminals depend upon to carry out phishing attacks.

How to save yourself from falling into the “phishing trap”?

When we hear the word Phishing, what image do we visualize exactly? Don’t we see a fisherman, sitting with a fishing stick to trap fishes? Yes, we do.

Oh! I think I’ve made a small mistake. I wrote “Phishing” instead of “Fishing”. But was it really a mistake that was made? No. I’ve written it deliberately. But why?

Phishing is a thing which is actually the same as fishing, though not literally. In “Fishing”, a fisherman makes TRAPs for fishes to get trapped and here Dodgers prepare TRAPs for users to get trapped. The only difference is in the techniques. Formally phishing is mainly a cybercrime. It is a fraudulent attempt of getting personal and sensitive information like passwords, pin codes, debit and credit card details by cloning oneself as a trustable entity in electronic communication like Gmail, telephone or text messages.

TRAP

As mentioned above, we are also trapped by the TRAPs. If you think that it was a sarcastic comment, then let us get you a clear picture as to what we meant by it.

Let us be aware of the TRAP:

T – Tab nabbing

It is a kind of phishing attack and computer exploitation that persuades users to submit their login details along with passwords to renowned websites by impersonating those sites along with convincing the user that the site is authentic. 

R – Redirection (Covert Redirection)

Redirection refers to Covert Redirection. It is a subtle procedure to perform phishing attacks that make links appear legitimate but actually redirecting it to a forger’s or attacker’s account.

A – Adulteration (Website Forgery)

The word “Adulteration” means Forgery. This refers to Website Forgery. Some forgers can use JavaScript commands in order to change the address bar of the website they lead to. This is performed either by placing an image of a legitimate URL over the address bar or by eliminating the original bar and opening up a new one with the legitimate URL. 

P – Pageant (Clone Phishing)

The pageant is the synonym to clone or disguise. It is a type of phishing attack where phishing takes place through emails. It is a type where a legitimate and pre-delivered email containing an attachment or link which has its content and recipient address(es) taken and used to prepare an almost identical or cloned email. 

Consequences

As you are quite aware of the TRAP, now we can easily get into its consequences. 

We are quite aware of the term OTP, right? We are also aware of its full form and what OTP means. It’s a One-Time Password. But presently, it defines something else. Its present abbreviation is Officially Trapping People. Maybe it sounds ridiculous but this is the actual fact. 

OTP (One-Time Password) is considered an effective deterrent against cybercriminals trying to extort money from the bank through online transactions. 

There are many such cases where criminals fooled customers and forced them to reveal their OTP, accessed it by android hacking or learned how to hack OTP of other mobile numbers. But now, they found another way of looting. They request your bank to change your phone number linked with a bank account. A cybercriminal can smartly walk into the bank, impersonate you, request a change in the registered number and use the connection to receive the OTP. Impersonation is a quick and simple process to carry out an OTP theft. 

A resident of Janakpuri in Delhi has been duped by a criminal, who was victimized by losing Rs11.5 lakh from his current account recently by impersonation, according to a TOI report.

Police informed on August 31, that two persons arrived at the bank and one of them impersonated the account holder. They requested alteration in the registered number and fill in the prescribed form. After registering the new one, they carried out online transfers from the victim’s account using the OTPs sent to the new mobile number. They withdrew Rs11.5 lakh and transferred to six different accounts held in a bank in Dwarka and then further withdrawn through ATMs and cheques. After the crime was committed, they just switched their number off. 

There is another way of OTP theft. Criminals can dupe a bank customer by contacting the mobile operator with fake identity proof and get a mimicked SIM card. When the operator deactivates the original SIM, the criminal generates OTP on the new number and conducts online transactions and this is how to hack OTP of other mobile numbers.

Conclusion

It is becoming impossible day by day for banks and the government to take preventive measures and make the customers aware of such transactions. If you’re now aware of what OTP means (Officially Trapping People), kindly take precautionary measures. Don’t give your personal and sensitive details to anyone. Don’t fall for a better opportunity and don’t get trapped into the TRAP of the fraudsters.

TIKAJ’s Anti-phishing service will help secure your intangible treasure.

10 steps to shield your organization from cyber threats

The prevalence of threats to cybersecurity can compromise the security of your organization’s data and cause serious ramifications. Therefore, it is important to take adequate measures to safeguard your organization from online attacks.

Here are the top 10 tips that can help strengthen the security of your enterprise

  1. Protect your hardware

    Data breaches due to stolen devices are quite common, it is essential to secure your company’s hardware. Make sure the servers and network devices are housed in a guarded space and accessible only to designated professionals. Regularly checking the hardware for any potential tampering can also help in detection of any foul play by intruders.

  2. Software Updates

    Keeping all your company software updated can mitigate security risks. Postponing updates can expose your organization to the latest online threats because the updates might have patches to deal with system vulnerabilities.
    Since new threats emerge on a regular basis, your software should be equipped enough to combat them. Although they might cost you a penny, however, the latest software products are worthwhile investments considering the potential loss due to cyber-crimes.

  3. Stringent Password Policy

    Since hacking passwords is an easy way to enter your organization’s online world, using strong passwords that are not easily guessable need to be made mandatory. Employees must also change their passwords periodically.
    There should be clear rules to discourage password sharing or inadvertent revelation of passwords. Passwords must never be written down on paper because it might fall in the hands of people with ill-intention who intends to gain unauthorized access to your information.

  4. Network security

    Make sure to monitor your network constantly and create logs that can help identify suspicious activity. Since the virus in one device can crawl through and shut the entire network down, hence one must make sure to scan every device connected to the company network.
    Restricting the use of external devices is also crucial because that can be used to not only export information but also bring in malware or other malicious software. Encrypting all data and regular automated backups can prevent data loss in the event of a harmful intrusion.

  5. Employee Awareness

    Your company should foster an environment of employee awareness, discussing the significance of threats to cybersecurity and the damage that can be caused to your organization. Employees need to be educated about the best practices to follow while logging in to the company online. Services like PhishGrid helps with education and simulation training which ensure that employees adhere to security protocols.

  6. Firewall and Anti-Virus

    Installing the latest security software can help protect your organization against Trojan horses and ransomware. Most anti-virus software might not be robust enough to detect the newer strains of malware that can create havoc in your network. Therefore, investing in buying firewall software that can prevent the entry of such perilous software into your company network is advisable. Installing specialized security applications that target malware can also help nip such security threats in the bud.

  7. Being up to Date

    Reading magazines and news articles about malicious software and constantly doing the rounds can help you devise an appropriate plan to counter the threats. Network security professionals need to know of the latest threats and efficient ways to banish them.

  8. Admin Access

    Granting admin privileges to only qualified professionals can minimize security risks. Make sure that network control is managed by only a handful of employees who are accountable for data security. Constantly monitoring user activity and auditing logs can help in preventing accidental exposure to threats to cybersecurity.

  9. Unsecured Networks and Unsecured Sites

    Access to unsecure websites within the organization must be curtailed. All employees connected to the network need to be aware of ways to identify potential dangerous websites. Telecommuting employees need to be informed of the perils of related to unsecure networks for logging in to the organization’s servers. Implementing Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can help create a secure channel of communication between the company’s website and the remote employee.

  10. Incident Management

    A well-equipped Incident management system needs to be in place to curb the ill effects of an attack immediately after its occurrence. Incident management professionals are needed to be trained in disaster recovery procedures and should facilitate business continuity.
    The company must be ready to provide a prompt incident response to limit the consequences of an attack. Speedy efforts to take remedial action and quarantining affected systems can help restrict the spread of malware. Employees must also be instantly notified about actions to be taken to avert the crisis.

Conclusion

Fighting against malware that can sneak into your organizational network unannounced is a constant battle. Therefore, diligent efforts are needed, to effectively manage your company online and defend it from hackers. By following the aforementioned tips, you can fortify and enhance the security of your enterprise and guarantee its smooth functioning without any interruption.

How to save your intangible treasure?

You probably are not aware of the importance your domain holds and why it requires protection. The following article will give you complete insights on how one can protect it.

If you are highly protective of a precious possession, especially if you have spent a fortune on it; you will perform probably ever precaution to save it from falling into the hands of a spiteful person. However, this attitude changes when it comes to intangible assets as people tend to be more ignorant about assets they can’t see or touch physically. But things take a toll when they start facing serious consequences of this ignorance.

One such important intangible asset to your organization or business is a domain name. You can see an example of what it is like in this article.

In the following article, we have a detailed discussion as to what a domain name is and how it is important to any organization or business. Also, why its protection is necessary and steps one can follow to protect it. A set of important facts and figures will give you a clearer insight as to how important a domain and its protection is.

What is domain and why is it important?

All your targeted customers mostly turn towards a quick web search to know more about your organization or product. As you can attract several customers and audiences through your webpage, it is important to have the right brand name for a lasting image through a market point of view.

Having a right, easy and attractive domain name will give your organization or product a strong online presence. As it stands as a very important marketing tool, the decision of choosing it should not be made in haste and should be a very careful and patient decision. Here is why having a domain name is important.

People always turn towards websites that sounds credible and genuine. Having a strong and unique domain name will make your organization look more professional and genuine so that more and more targeted audience is attracted towards it.

It is also seen that people are very much into window shopping and a lot of them decide which shop to enter just by look at the name and storefront window. In the same way, people also decide which website to enter just by looking at an attractive domain name.

If you are planning to move your business by relocating it into a new country or by moving to an in-house service, you don’t have to fret about changing your web hosting server as domain helps you with mobility and you can continue building your brand without starting from the scratch.

Unlike other marketing tools of traditional marketing, a domain name never expires. It will create and maintain the reputation of your organization and help you claim your territory online.

Why domain name protection is important?

After having a clear understanding of why having a domain name is important for any organization and how valuable asset it is; we shall now see what are the potential threats one’s domain can face and why its protection is very important.

Your domain is meant to be your personal space and all the data you upload in it meant to stay private. However, once your domain gets registered all your data gets available publicly on various sources. Therefore, to save it from such breach of privacy, it is important to get your domain protected.

When someone decides not to get their domain protected, it’s like publicly announcing all the personal and sensitive data on the internet at the public database and it can be easily misused, leading to irreversible damage to you and your organization.

When the domain name is left unprotected and your personal information is easily accessible, you might get bombarded with fake calls, spammers and even worse phishers. When these pushy marketers can easily get to you, all your devices including mobile and e-mails will get filled with spam messages and emails and you may end up purchasing things you don’t even want.

Just like building a house brick by brick takes a truckload of efforts, time and investment; building a website is likewise a tasking job but also an imperative part of your priceless organization. A small loophole in the security of your home can put all your treasure into danger; the same is the case with domains. When they are not protected they can fall prey to hacking. The hackers may break into your domain and rename it as their own without your consent.

How to protect your domain?

  1. Register with a reputable registrar

    With an increase in the number of domain
    registrar names in industry, you are left with many options to choose as to whom you want to register your domain name with. In such a case, you must always opt for the reputable one, have been in the business for a long time, offers good customer service and most importantly located in your country.

  2. Using a strong registrar password

    Protecting and using your registrar password should be done as diligently as you are with your bank account and other documents and websites carrying sensitive information. This is because falling of your password in the wrong hands may result in similar irreversible consequences. Failing to protect your registrar password may allow someone else to get access to your domain and he may transfer all your data before you could even realize it.

  3. Renewal of domain name

    Failing of renewal of domain name may lead to lapsing of it. Therefore, one must renew it for the longest possible period so that you don’t have to stay at the risk of forgetting or failing to renew it. One might also choose the “auto-renew” option of the registrar company and find domain registrar name where the renewal takes place automatically.

Conclusion

We become very prudent when it comes to the protection of valuables like house keys, bank account details, passwords of important websites, etc. But ironically people often become negligent on part of the most important asset of the organization, domain name. The protection of domain name is equally important as holds the title of the most effective marketing tool.

It can be hence concluded from the above piece of article as to why and how the protection of domain can be done. So before it gets too late, contact your registrar now and get it protected soon!

TIKAJ’s Domain name monitoring service will help secure your intangible treasure.

How to discern Santa disguised phishers this holiday?

Holiday season is around which means the season of sending and receiving gifts and pleasantries is here as well. According to a report, a whopping $143 billion is spent by customers just between Thanksgiving and New Year. This stands as a very happy figure for the phishers and scammers to rake in through the bank accounts of the customers.

You must have noticed a flooded inbox filled with e-mails and text messages luring to indulge in those vouchers from your favorite shopping mall or discount coupons from your go-to food joint. Free giveaways, life-changing lotteries you never enrolled for or charity messages shouldn’t fool you to fall prey to greedy phishers waiting to make quick bucks this holiday season.

If you receive e-mails, message or even calls which makes offers too good be true, its time you double or triple check, before you give in to them. These messages could have malware which once clicked could empty your bank account even before you realize it, pouring cold water on your happiness and warmth this holiday season.

Holiday phishing like every season is on a rise this year too. Save yourself and your loved ones with this informative article which gives you insights regarding every important detail you need to know about holiday phishing.

SIGNS TO IDENTIFY HOLIDAY PHISHERS

Phishers as their occupation asks for, are very clever. One can take phishing emails examples or messages which are sent by them look that very genuine and appealing. However, to save yourself from these traps, we have mentioned a few important points which will help you in identifying them.

Infographic about signs to identify Phishers & Scammers this holiday season
  • Hoax shipping notifications:
    With holiday season around, the number of orders placed online increases. Phishers take advantage of this situation and send emails or messages quoting a fake order number and other details being shipped to you. One must not fall for such messages even under curiosity; they should inquire with the retailer or track the order online through their registered account.
  • Fake charities:
    As the irony serves, the gratuitous nature of phishers erupts as well during the holiday season. They may text or email you, claiming to be a charity and asking for donations. Make sure you check the legitimacy of the charity house and make sure it exists and works for the same cause as for which you are making donations.
  • Long-lost friend:
    Phishers knows when the iron is hot so they can hit the rod. The holiday season is one time of the year when all the friends get back in touch. Phishers can easily get access to your contact or friend’s list and send you emails personating to be someone you know. Before replying to the message you must double-check whether the person who claims to be the person you know is the same; also warn your friend if you think their contact list may have got compromised.
  • Social media “the new pool of phishers” :
    With a large number of traffic being active on social media, criminal intentions are bound to get followed. While surfing social media make sure you check the links you click as the phishers may use URL shorteners to lead you to sites which will install malware on your device and then get easy access to all the data. To save yourself from such compromising situations make sure you check links for typo errors or repeated letters to identify imposter website.

TYPES OF HOLIDAY PHISHING

Phishers have come forward with different ways to trap people and loot them this holiday season like every year. Below are mentioned a few phishing attack types.

  1. Fake apps and websites

    The time between thanksgivings to New Year is that one time where people indulge of all ages enjoys shopping. With the advancement of technology, people have started to rely more on online sources to buy presents; which turns out to be a treat for phishers. When the victim gets attracted to really exciting offers and decides to purchase things from non-verified apps or websites, they fall into the trap of phishers. In this type of phishing scheme, the victim first receives an email which directs them to fill their payment details and other banking credentials after which the phishers drains out all the money off the victim’s account.

  2. Skimmers of credit cards

    A skimmer of credit card is a small malicious device which criminals use by attaching it to a payment terminal like one at the gas station, ATM or similar kiosk. When a customer uses such a compromised terminal, the skimmer can create a copy of the debit or credit card and also capture the PIN number. To protect yourself from falling into such a situation one must first look at terminal and see if anything is out of its place, try jiggling the card reader and if it moves around then there could be something wrong. Other than these measures one must try bot save card’s information on retail sites, enable purchase alerts on all the cards and disable any international purchase.

  3. Juice jacking

    Holidays calls for parties especially with huge public gatherings and late night outings. Using public chargers and USBs is very common when the battery of phones get drained out. This is when the term juice jacking comes into play. When you put your phone for charging process, the USB or power cable get illegitimate access to your phone and malicious code may get injected onto your phone making all your private and sensitive information vulnerable in the hands of the person with ill-intentions. In simple words, juice jacking leads to an invasion of your privacy on the use of infected USB cable or injecting malicious code directly into your phone, whose damage could be irreversible in many cases.

Conclusion

The holiday season is a time of merrymaking both for normal people and phishers. It is a prime crime time for holiday phishers who trap people by sending them infected emails, messages and tricking them into purchasing things from hoax websites. To make this time of the year merrier for yourself and your loved ones, be aware and spread awareness about such phishers, different phishing attack types by giving them phishing emails examples and such other messages and by asking them to stay more careful while surfing the internet this season.

Emotet malware being presented to people this Christmas, through Greta Thunberg themed Phishing emails

A global spam email scheme has been discovered which is using Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg themed emails to lure users.

Spam consists of a single message that attempts to deliver the well-known malware Emotet

Emotet was discovered back in 2014 as a banking Trojan aimed at stealing financial data. It has now  gone through several iterations and has emerged as one of the most destructive malware aimed at the financial domain.

A recent research discovered this widespread campaign using Greta Thunberg’s name to lure users into downloading Emotet malware.

The email consists of the subject line “Support Greta Thunberg” which invites the recipient to join the protest against the government raising concern against the threat of climate change.

Details regarding the fake protest are included in a file attached to the email. When opened, the file will install Emotet malware onto the recipient’s device.

Image showing an example how the phishing email may look like

Users should be able to view the malware file in the outdated .doc format for Microsoft Word. The email itself contains multiple spelling and grammatical errors, something anyone would not anticipate from the newly crowned Time Person of the Year 2019.

This campaign is targeting people around the globe with the most targeted victims in Japan, Germany, Italy, UAE, Australia, and the UK. Recipients are also told to forward and promote the malicious email to their good wishers, meaning the campaign has rapidly spread across the world.

This malicious campaign suggests that attackers don’t hesitate to use the face of even famous entities with good intentions. They tend to exploit the factor of public awareness and interest cleverly.

Better to be prepared for such attacks before hand. Train your organizations, friends, family because humans are the last line of defence after a phish bypasses the other technologies. Checkout our Phishing simulation and training solution PhishGrid.

To know more about How to identify a phishing email, read some useful insight here.

Phishing: The emergence of sinister side of the corporate world

“Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” – General George Patton

Well it seems like the youths of India are hitting the “bottom” so hard these days that their desires of bouncing back to the top, has blinded them from scrutinizing whether the opportunities they are getting are genuine or not.

The phishing attacks percentage has increased in recent years, for example, In January, 2019, CEO of an Award Winning Recruitment Firm, Wisdom Jobs, was arrested with 13 staffers. Working since the year 2009, they’ve duped a whopping 1.04 lakh jobless people scamming nearly Rs70 crores in return of promising fake jobs inside and outside India.

In September, 2018, 7 fraudsters were held in custody in Delhi for defrauding 20 jobless youths, by taking 2 lakh for each instead of providing fake jobs at ONGC. So, if you’re living in India, looking for a job inside India or abroad, you need to know first who are you going to deal with before even getting your appointment letter.

Although, India has secured the seventh place in the rankings of international nominal GDP in 2018, the unemployment rate has gone up to more than 7.5% in 2019. The scammers are taking advantage of this situation by providing non-existent jobs and thereby, increasing the phishing attacks percentage.

Freshers passing out of colleges are easily getting trapped for being unable to handle the peer pressure from their families, and the fake consultants are using every opportunity that they are getting because of the easy accessibility of the internet. Families of these youths are now blinded by their desires of seeing their kids working into MNCs in the Gulf or abroad, since they’ve invested lakhs of money for 3 – 4 years.

The embassies and companies are putting advisories to warn the new applicants on their official websites. Renowned groups like TCS, Shell, and Monster.com have also put warnings to save the youths from being duped.

However, here are the steps that you need to be aware about these fraudsters use to hunt:

  • Getting access of applicant profiles from job recruitment sites.
  • Sending mass emails to potential candidates they search for.
  • Posing as job consultants, setting up fake offices, fake websites to convince those candidates.
  • Candidates are asked to deposit a particular amount through wallet or bank transfer.
  • Fake appointment letters are provided after conducting online or telephonic interview.

How to save yourself from getting duped by phishers

People who are mainly from tier 2, or sometimes tier 3 cities, passing out from lesser known colleges, having linguistic barriers along with less interpersonal skills, lack of education and charisma for not having real world interactions, are most likely to become the victims. Most of them are in their early 20’s with 0 – 5 years of job experience in the corporate world; they are falling in the traps before even starting their job career. These setbacks are putting some of them into long depressive phases that are hard to overcome.

Phishing is probably the easiest way that these deceivers use to trick their candidates and they do this by using different phishing attack types. By just posing as a job consultant, they scour multiple job portals like Naukri.com, Times jobs, Shine etc. Mails are then sent to the job applicants en masse. Even if the job seekers get duped by 5%, it turns out to be a lot of money.

The mails typically ask for a security deposit, interview fee or any other charges, a comfortable schedule for an interview. While some tricksters would just disappear as soon as they get the money, others go so far as to conduct a quick online or telephonic interview before giving a fake appointment letter.

So, how to avoid being duped? To avoid getting trapped into one of many phishing attack types, here are some of the ways that you should go for:

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  1. Browse Official Websites

    Companies put advertisements about vacancies on their official websites. Instead of replying to unrecognizable mails, go to the career pages of the companies and apply on their official sites. Even with online job portals, make sure that you route your resumes through the original sites, not by responding to a mail link. For jobs in foreign land, you should either go to government portals, or local job consultancy websites of the country you are applying for a job. Do not approach agents living in India for securing your foreign job positions.

  2. Paying For Securing The Post

    “No employer seeks any fee from a job-seeker at any stage of the hiring process.” says Abhijeet Mukherjee, CEO, Monster.com (APAC & Gulf). The awareness needs to be spread among the youths about the companies or individuals, who seek any kind of fees or charges as security deposit, registration or document verification. This can be done through bank transfer, cash or through a wire transfer. They can even ask for sensitive information of the user like card details, online banking

  3. Red Flags in Mail/Letter

    Youths can ward off scammers who approach through mails by scrutinizing the letter minutely. “Beware if the mail is from a free email address, not the company email,” says Mukherjee. Also proofreading the letter i.e. thorough reading of the format of the letter, spelling mistakes, poor syntax or wrong spacing. Even the name and sign of the person who is sending you the mail, as well as the company address and contact details can be indications of it is being sent from the fraudsters.

  4. Confirming By Calling Firms

    If you have any doubts about the offer or appointment letter, call the company on its registered contact numbers immediately. Check whether or not the person who mailed you exists and whether the organization has a vacancy for the post or position you’ve applied for. Conduct gradually a proper research about the company before applying for the job.

  5. Maturity is In Being Cautious

    Youth needs to handle approaches very maturely when the company is portraying itself too good to be trusted, if the company claims to provide 70% – 80% increment in salary after couple of months of joining, or a position development that’s beyond your capabilities and experience, then the company’s foundation lies on scamming. Youths have to remain alert about getting appointment letters without even conducting formal interview. Make sure that you are called to have a personal or a face-to-face interview, ideally at the registered address of the company. Be on the lookout  if you are called to a residential area or place that has no signage related to the company. The interviewer’s background should also be easily verifiable.

To know more about Phishing & Anti Phishing services & Anti Phishing solutions reach out to us.

Your brochure as to why anti-phishing services are your best bet

One of the most infamous phishing techniques involves spawning of fake copies of any login page and then making the victims sign in through that page to trick the user for receiving the credentials.

This common technique of laying a phishing trap is very common and consists of about 7% of cybercrime all over the world. The newcomers in the world of the internet are more prone to fall victims to such technique, hence they require an expert methodology to help prevent such cases. This brings us to the concept of anti-phishing software.

Generally, anti-phishing software first checks the webpage which is being loaded on the web browser. If the page does not match with the database of that particular service, then the page is considered as safe and only then it is sent to the web browser to be rendered. However, the main question which arises is whether it is worth using and investing in such anti-phishing software? Just like every other thing in this world, every product, situation, etc. has two aspects: pros and cons. The important point is whether to consider it or not. Keeping a note of all the pro and cons of anti-phishing services will help you in deciding the answer to the aforementioned question. This article includes both positive and negative points and a comparison with a judgement suggestion about whether anti-phishing software is worth using or not.

People enter the world of the internet right from their teenage but nowadays children of age around 5-6 years are capable of making accounts on various websites. This initiates the risk of falling prey to phishing traps. Such users have no idea how to differentiate between fake and original pages, how this phishing work and hence they become easy victims. While loading a phishing page, the anti-phishing services, before loading the page checks whether or not the page actually belongs to the website of which it claims to be. Consider the example of Facebook. The anti-phishing software will first check if the Sign-in page actually belongs to Facebook. It also checks where the page is sending data after the user logs in. The anti-phishing software then evinces it on the screen if the page seems safe. Phishing links are also sent via emails, and such services work to check if the link in the email is actually a safe one or a phishing link.

Anti-phishing software has proved to be very effective against phishing attacks over the internet in the past couple of years. It has accounted as proof that these services actually work, but to what extent, that cannot be properly calculated. A lot of companies around the world provide anti-phishing services, and these services usually come in-built in Internet security. Companies, which manufacture anti-virus software, also manufacture internet security, which includes anti-phishing services. These internet security services work mainly by protecting users from entering into fake web pages that might steal their important information over the internet by any false means. This sure does include phishing pages.

PROS AND CONS

Since this software first checks the webpage, it makes loading each and every webpage slower. Sometimes it is also possible that these services mistakenly mark a safe page as a threat. If a user is doing internet banking, it might be possible that the user might get stuck in a mishap. The fund transfer procedure might be accidentally considered as an illegal operation carried out to steal money via internet banking. In such case the transaction may never complete, however, such incidents are almost none and hence it should not be a point to actually worry about.

However, many times other webpages can also be misunderstood as a phishing page. In such a case, if the user is sure that it is safe to proceed, then that page can be marked as safe. Many times if a user proceeds in an unsafe environment on the internet, then the anti-virus installed in the computer blocks any attempts to spread the virus incoming from the internet. Hence, it is suggested to have an anti-virus system along with an anti-phishing service (can be internet security).

FINAL INFERENCE

Since the advantages are really impressive and the disadvantages are something, which can be taken care of, it is advised to use anti-phishing services, as it provides great security throughout the internet session. The negative points of these services can be tackled easily. Investing a small amount of money in such services can save a lot more than you can think of as problems do not knock the door before coming, and these services can easily protect without any effort from the user’s side. The services are made in such a way that it works in the background and does not make the user feel disturbed during any transaction carried out on the internet.

CONCLUSION

Until now, these services have shown only positive results and not even a single case has come to light where such service has created problems to the user in the entire world. If a user is using a computer system, then it is not difficult for it to maintain an anti-phishing service, as it does not cost much and makes a user go tension free from almost all cyber-attacks with this effective service in hand.