Archive for category Security

Most Commonly Clicked Phishing Email Subject Lines

18th Oct 2017

Phishing emails with clickbait subject lines are increasingly being used to elude security filters and gain access to computer systems. According to Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report, two-thirds of all malware were installed via email attachments in 2016. 60% of malware were packaged in JavaScript attachments, while 26% were packaged in malicious macros embedded in Microsoft Office documents.

To avoid any phishing attacks you need to keep pace with the hackers who are coming up with dynamic new ways for launching a cyber-attack.  Email is the most widely used channel for a phishing attack because it is relatively easier to dupe people by sending fraudulent emails and trap them. They disguise as legitimate persons or companies and through fraudulent emails, direct users to a fake website in order to request for sensitive information and credentials.

These phishing emails, generally use subject lines, which encourage users to open email and click on link in it. Here we have listed some commonly clicked phishing email subject lines for you to take notice.

Social Media Email Subject lines –

  • Free Pizza – Who wouldn’t want one, but it comes at the cost of security breach. Hackers tend to play with human psyche as the word FREE is always appealing, and when the receiver opens the mail, they exploit it for their own benefits.
  • A message from your friend – Hackers sometimes use social engineering tactics to find out names of your close friends and relatives. They impersonate your acquaintances and send you an email which contains malware, to access your private information.
  • Reset Password
  • New message
  • Login alert
  • Unread Message
  • New Voice message
  • Account Validation Required

General Email Subject Lines –

  • Security Alert
  • UPS Label Delivery 1ZBE312TNY00015011
  • Urgent Action Required
  • BREAKING: United Airlines Passenger Dies from Brain Haemorrhage – VIDEO
  • A Delivery Attempt was made
  • All Employees: Update your Healthcare Info
  • Unusual sign-in activity
  • Your Bank Account will be Deactivated: Online Banking ALERT
  • Ready for your beach vacay?
  • You have won a Lottery
  • Direct Deposit of payment in your account
  • Bank transfer of 75000 USD
  • Your order #335515 placed on Sunday is paid.

What are the ways to avoid Phishing emails?

Educate yourselves and your employees about the phishing techniques and cognize them about ways to identify dubious mails. Do not click on random links sent in an email from an unauthorized sender, and to verify a site’s security, ensure that the site’s URL begins with ‘https’. Also avoid entering any personal information unless you are cent percent sure that the mail is sent by a trusted sender. Also make sure that you install an antivirus software on your system and use high quality firewalls.

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Locky Ransomware: How It Infects Systems And How To Stay Safe From This Virus

12th Oct 2017

Albert Einstein’s quote, “Our Technology has surpassed our humanity” truly represents the repugnant condition of our society today with cyber-attacks taking a toll on the entire world. Each day hackers are coming up with sophisticated technologies and malwares to counterfeit the security solutions being launched by the companies. A recent malevolent program that has hit the cyber industry is Locky ransomware that literally LOCKS away your files, until you pay ransom to decrypt them. It came forth in February 2016 and has been active since then.

How It Infects Systems

Usually sent through an email containing infected word or excel attachments, it is a malware that affects almost all versions of Windows. The malicious email contains a balderdash word document in encrypted form. Further the user is asked to enable macros to encode the incorrect data and that is when the real trouble starts.

Then actual encryption Trojan is downloaded with an intent to encrypt all the targeted files using AES encryption algorithm. All the filenames are converted into .locky file extension. These files cannot be operated by normal programs when once enciphered. The user is then sent ransom notes demanding 0.5 – 1 bitcoins in return of a decryption key.

Email: The Most Preferred Channel

Locky malware is generally sent via a word document attached in an email because it is the easiest way to trap and dupe the users. AppRiver, email and web security experts in one of their reports about it quoted, “In the past 24 hours we have seen over 23 million messages sent in this attack, making it one of the largest malware campaigns that we have seen in the latter half of 2017.”

How To Stay Safe From This Ransomware –

  • Regular Backups – The best way to safeguard yourself is to take regular backups either online or offline. Keep your backup data in encrypted form to ensure that it does not fall into wrong hands.
  • Be Wary About Suspicious Attachments – If you are sent an unusual email from an unauthorized sender make sure you do not open it. Attackers can masquerade and send you unsolicited emails containing malware. Beware of files with double extensions ending with .exe as there are higher chances of it containing virus.
  • Do Not Enable Macros – Ransomware is usually sent to the user in the attached encrypted file, which persuade them to enable macros resulting in files bring encrypted by locky. Make sure you do not enable macros for emails send by an unknown source. Also permanently keep the default Microsoft macros disabled.
  • Update Your System – Regularly updating and patching your system and applications can help you to prevent the attack to some extent.
  • Microsoft Office Viewers – Install the app on your system, as it allows you to view what documents look like without actually opening them.

It is important to adopt all security measures well in advance and educate yourself and your employees about Locky ransomware attack to prevent it in the first instance.

For more tips on preventing Locky Ransomware, feel free to contact Centex Technologies at (855) 375 – 9654.

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Key Principles For Efficient Cyber Investigations

28th Sep 2017

Technology has connected people across seven continents and made this world a Global Village. Connectivity has its own benefits but it has brought along the risk of fraud and theft of vital information available on the web. Businesses are increasingly becoming vulnerable to cyber-attacks and the threat looms large for not just the companies that are less equipped to handle it but even the large firms.

As per the Cost of Cyber Crime Study 2017 – Insights On The Security Investments That Make A Difference published by Accenture, a leading global professional services company, The accelerating cost of cybercrime means that it is now 23 percent more than last year and is costing organizations, on average, US$ 11.7 million. Also, Forbes reports that cybercrime will approximately cost $6 trillion per year on average through 2021.

This grave threat accentuates the need of cyber investigation which can help in tackling cyber-crimes to a certain extent. Today, businesses need to be even more diligent towards cybercrimes and conduct cyber investigations to detect and respond to the virtual attacks. Companies can work on it with these simple tips and principles.

  • Understand The Problem – Companies need to have a better understanding on the types of cybercrimes, what causes it and how it can affect them. This can help them gain a better insight as to how they can prevent as well as protect themselves from cyber-attacks by taking a targeted action. They also need to cognize their employees about the possible threats that may arise when a particular site or system is used.
  • Hire A Team Of Specialists – Cyber-attacks detected after months and years can lead to humungous loss. So to ensure regular monitoring and check, hire a team of cyber specialists dedicated to the task of cyber investigation and security to make sure your vital business information is safe.
  • Collect Evidences – Every crime needs to be validated with evidence, so document everything. Documentation presents the entire information, right from the initial findings to ways in which the situation has affected the company, so make sure that no critical information is missed.
  • Combine Human And Machine efforts – Automate the tasks that can be performed by machines and make the professionals work on complex things that require judgement, intuition and dexterity. This is a strategic move that can help in optimization by reducing human effort which can now be channelized towards tasks that cannot be done by machines.
  • Be Pro-Active – Search for the attackers pro-actively. Rapidly hunt for attackers to prevent cybercrime. Always be a step ahead from the cyber attackers.
  • Create a seamless Investigation Workspace – Investigation workspaces allow analysts and investigators to build an attack story as they get to access information from every sensor and can perform network and endpoint forensic.

Thus, with these simple cyber investigation tips, a business can make an effort to protect itself from cyber-crimes. It is high time that we adopt a new approach to cyber security and defense as data breach and loss can be a huge financial and reputation hit to your company.

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How Private Is Your Personal Information

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Tips To Manage Your Digital Footprint

19th Sep 2017

Your digital footprint includes all activities that you perform online. Right from posting comments/ photos/ videos on social media to online subscriptions and blog post updates, the internet tends to keep a record of everything that you do online.  In order to keep your data safe from cyber criminals as well as to prevent ID thefts, you must be cautious of what you post online.

Here are some tips can assist you in efficiently handling your digital footprint:

  • Utilize Privacy Settings:  Keep a check on privacy settings on all your social media accounts to manage who all can view your information. Facebook for instance, provides you an option to either display your posts to specific friends, to entire friend list or to public. It is strongly recommended to not make all your posts visible to everyone. Similarly check the privacy setting on other platforms too.
  • Don’t Overshare Information: In order to avoid any issue pertaining to your digital footprint at a later stage, it is best not to overshare information. This is applicable to all networking sites and tools because sharing everything with everyone may land you in trouble. Always keep your usernames, passwords, photographs, addresses and other sensitive information up to you only.
  • Manage Cookies: If you check your browser cookies, you will be surprised to note that multiple cookies have been sent by sites that you are not even aware of visiting. You can control this by blocking third-party cookies or enable plug-ins that help to prevent such cookies.
  • Understand That Online Content Is For Eternity: Anything that you post or upload online is likely to be there forever. Although it is out of the public view, your content can still be viewed through other means. Even deleting your account does not ensure all the information is wiped out as it can be found in archives and databases. Thus, always think before putting up anything online so that it does not impact you negatively later on.
  • Know What Others Are Posting About You Online: For this, adjust the settings on your social media profiles to get notifications when someone tags you in a post or picture. Whenever someone comments on your posts or shares content, you should instantly get to know about it. Enable the setting to first approve the posts before they are available for public viewing. Reviewing the posts ensures that no irrelevant or harmful content is posted with your name in it.

To maintain a positive digital footprint, it is important to be selective about who all are authorized to view your information. For more tips, contact Centex Technologies at (855) 375 – 9654.

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