Vulnerabilities / Threats

6/15/2018
01:01 PM
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Email, Social Media Still Security Nightmares

Phishing and banking trojans continue to be major threats brought into the enterprise.

Users are going to click on sketchy links, download iffy files, and go to dangerous web sites. And there's not a whole lot you can do about it. Those are just some of the conclusions in a threat report released on June 14.

The "Q1 2018 Quarterly Threat Report" published by ProofPoint shows that the old favorites are returning, as banking trojans replaced ransomware as the most common type of email-borne malware seen on user desktops. The shift appears, according to the report, to be due to a combination of a disruption to the Necurs botnet and the rise of other, more profitable, malware payloads.

In addition, social media support fraud, dubbed "angler phishing" saw a massive increase in the first quarter of 2018, appearing 200% more frequently than in the previous quarter. Looking for good news? Find it in exploit kits, which are rapidly and consistently declining in popularity as malware authors find other attacks to be easier and more profitable.

For more, read here.

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio

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BrianN060
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BrianN060,
User Rank: Ninja
7/25/2018 | 1:48:46 PM
Re: Email and social media security nightmares
Little argument on most of your points; though sweeping generalities and assumptions can lead to oversimplification of assessment. 

One thing I've had to remind myself is to appreciate how a sense of scale is dependent on perspective and experience.  With cybersecurity, the breadth of scale is tremendous.   There are so many perspectives to consider - and you have to consider them in order to understand the motivations involved.

Even as basic a statement as "...the resources of the government..." you have ask: Which government, of what country?  Just with the U.S., you have federal, state and local, and each have agencies and departments which don't always share information, or always pull in the same direction.  There's also the dynamic of changing personnel, and changing administrations (with their own priorities and agendas). 

Governments are organizations of individuals - and these individuals certainly don't all share the same perspectives, opinions, agendas or commitment to their duties and responsibilities (or their perception of what those are).  With that kind of diversity, it may be remarkable that they have accomplished what they have, security-wise.  Even then, there are always some who call them unacceptable infringements - so many perspectives to consider!
CameronRobertson
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CameronRobertson,
User Rank: Moderator
7/25/2018 | 5:57:16 AM
Re: Email and social media security nightmares
I don't think that there is anything right now that can't be hacked to be honest. All this stuff about passwords protecting our computers and email accounts... And let's not even talk about our social media feeds... I bet that it's all monitored somehow. When you have the resources of the government and are paranoid that anything could happen to terrorise or disrupt the peace of your country, you do what it takes to keep your citizens "protected" right?
BrianN060
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BrianN060,
User Rank: Ninja
6/15/2018 | 2:35:49 PM
Email and social media security nightmares
Doubt if any readers here expected latest report to say differently.  Technology can help; don't expect comprehensive technical solutions.  Perhaps the first important step toward improving the situation is to recognize that despite the obvious technological aspects, email and social media are methods of human communication.  Start with looking more closely at how the nature of communication (rather than the means), have changed.  Consider what communication assumptions and expectations were before email and social media; then examine how that mindset and those habits have been exploited in the new environment.  Above all, keep in mind that every message sent and received via email or through social media is not from or to anyone.  That is often the assumption, and nearly always the intent; but in reality, it's all to and from devices - which we presume to be direct and exclusive conduits to some real person. 
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