Email security is all the more crucial at this time of the year when employees take off to their homes, and cyber adversaries get on their malicious working hats. The festive season has witnessed an increased number of cyberattacks in the past, and this year is no different. Read on to learn about the recent cybersecurity breaches
Cyberattack Hits U.S Government Networks
Over fifty U.S. companies have suffered in a recent attack on the U.S. government networks. Adam Schiff – chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has asked for information from U.S. agencies on the same. It is believed that a nation-state actor is responsible for this cybersecurity incident, which compromised several sophisticated tools, thus increasing the vulnerability for future attacks.
In a statement, FireEye’s chief executive – Kevin Mandia, admitted that the attack had caused much disruption for organizations.
Israeli WordPress Sites Worst Hit By Cyberattacks
WordPress is the most extensively used content management system globally, and 92% of all brute-force attacks on WordPress target Israeli sites. A study by F5’s research partner, Effluxio, revealed that over 180,000 attacks targeted Israel in Q3 2020, shortly followed by the United States (130,000 attacks), Russia (75,000 attacks), and India and the Czech Republic (50,000 attacks).
Researchers feel that the fixation of brute-force attacks on Israel might be because of more critical geopolitical intrusion goals into Israel. Still, on the flip side, this whole affair might also be a way to misdirect experts. If a country like Israel (with its infamous cybersecurity experts) can have easy targets, then there is no reason for us to shun cybersecurity tools!
Beware Of COVID-19 Vaccine Scams
The fear around the deadly Coronavirus has been exploited in many ways by cyber adversaries over the year. Now, when several pharma companies are engaged in mass-producing probable vaccines for COVID-19, the attackers are looking for opportunities to con people. Several COVID-19 vaccine scams have emerged lately, and the FBI and other U.S federal agencies advise people to stay on guard. The risks have also increased for pharma companies impersonated by attackers to steal user credentials and infect their devices with malware.
Fake COVID-19 vaccines are promoted on Telegram, WhatsApp, and dark web forums, to perhaps find victims among the many nations interested in administering coronavirus vaccines. As sensible internet users, we must use ransomware protection and other cybersecurity measures to avoid such COVID-19 related scams.
GoDaddy Tests Employees’ Cyber Resilience
Using a not-so-unusual tactic, the Internet domain company GoDaddy tested its employees’ resilience to email phishing scams recently. GoDaddy sent out a holiday bonus notification to employees despite a prior notice informing them that there will be no bonus this year. The email said that the organization appreciates its employees and hence is offering them a $650 one-time Holiday bonus, which needs to be availed by providing location and other details by 18th December 2020.
GoDaddy has been targeted by multiple data breaches this year, which has made CEO Aman Bhutani announce company-wide layoffs. Such a holiday bonus email after that is giving false hopes to employees. However, such stringent measures are necessary if email security services are to help organizations fight cyberattacks.
Hackers Access Microsoft Cloud Customers’ Information
In a recent security incident, the adversaries have accessed the Microsoft cloud customers’ information through one of Microsoft’s corporate partners. The senior director for communications at Microsoft – Jeff Jones, says that such attacks usually steal credentials to gain access. However, they are yet to identify any compromise of Microsoft product or cloud services from this latest breach.
In another incident, Microsoft had detected a Microsoft Azure account, making unusual calls to Microsoft cloud APIs. CrowdStrike used this account for its Microsoft Licenses. The cybersecurity company CrowdStrike then conducted an extensive investigation of all suspected Microsoft infrastructure. However, the scrutiny revealed that none of the customers of Microsoft were affected by the incident. The tech giant realizes the implications of such an attack and is opting for email security as a service. Furthermore, government authorities have also been informed about the progress of investigations.
Beware Of Fake Chase Security Alerts
Chase account holders need to be vigilant of fake ‘security alerts’ that make it to their inbox because hackers create fake Chase fraud alerts to steal sensitive user credentials. The email says that Chase has noticed some unusual activity in the user’s account, which has compelled Chase to block the account. To restore account services, users need to click on the ‘Restore Now’ button, which leads them to a fake Chase Login page.
Entering login credentials on this fake page gives adversaries access to the user’s account. Further, the fake account restoration process also requires users to enter their full name, DOB, address, Social Security Number, and phone number. With these details, an adversary can quickly launch identity theft attacks, gain access to other accounts, or send targeted phishing emails to the victims.
Hence, we reiterate that email protection is a necessity for 21st-century citizens. Along with taking cybersecurity measures, we must also remember to be rational and wise on the web. Chase never asks users to enter their information to verify their identity in case of suspicious account activity. They only need the user to confirm if they indeed performed the transaction. Such fake alert mails, if received, must be deleted immediately and cross-checked with customer service for authenticity.