Two weeks ago, many Dropbox users began suspecting a data breach at the online file-sharing service after they started receiving spam at email addresses they’d created specifically for use at Dropbox. Today, the company confirmed that suspicion, blaming the incident… Read More »
Last month’s post examining the top email-based malware attacks received so much attention and provocative feedback that I thought it was worth revisiting. I assembled it because victims of cyberheists rarely discover or disclose how they got infected with the Trojan that helped thieves siphon their money, and I wanted to test conventional wisdom about the source of these attacks.
While the data from the past month again shows why that wisdom remains conventional, I believe the subject is worth periodically revisiting because it serves as a reminder that these attacks can be stealthier than they appear at first glance.
A security researcher who’s spent the last 18 months cataloging and tracking malware that was developed and deployed online specifically for spying on governments, activists and industry executives says the complexity and scope of these cyberespionage malware networks now rivals many large conventional cybercrime operations.
Joe Stewart, senior director of malware research at Atlanta-based Dell SecureWorks, said he’s logged over 200 unique families of custom malware used in cyber-espionage campaigns, and some 1,000 domain names registered by cyberspies for using in hosting networks used to control the malware, or for use in “spear phishing,” highly targeted emails that spread the malware.
It’s getting harder to detect some of the newer ATM skimmers, fraud devices attached to or inserted into cash machines and designed to steal card and PIN data. Among the latest and most difficult-to-spot skimmer innovations is a wafer-thin card reading device that can be inserted directly into the ATM’s card acceptance slot.
A new service offered in the cybercriminal underground is geared toward spammers, scammers and malware purveyors interested in mass-registering dozens of dodgy domains in one go.
Roughly five years after it burst onto the malware scene, the notorious Grum spam botnet has been disconnected from the Internet. Grum has consistently been among the top three biggest sources of junk email, a crime machine capable of blasting 18 billion messages per day and responsible for sending about one-third of all spam.
It was early October 2011, and I was on the treadmill checking email when I noticed several hundred new messages had arrived since I last looked at my Gmail inbox just 20 minutes earlier. I didn’t know it at the time, but my account was being used to beta test a private service now offered openly in the criminal underground that can be hired to create highly disruptive floods of junk email, text messages and phone calls.
Many businesses request some kind of confirmation from their bank whenever high-dollar transfers are initiated. These confirmations may be sent via text message or email, or the business may ask their bank to call them to verify requested transfers. The attack that hit my inbox was part of an offering that crooks can hire to flood each medium of communication, thereby preventing a targeted business from ever receiving or finding alerts from their bank.
“Always have your stuff when you need it with Dropbox.” That’s the marketing line for the online file storage service, but today users have had difficulty logging into the service. The outages came amid reports that many European Dropbox users were being blasted with spam for online casinos, suggesting some kind of leak of Dropbox user email addresses.
For this fourth installment of advice columns aimed at people who are interested in learning more about security as a craft or profession, I reached out to Richard Bejtlich, a prominent security blogger who last year moved from a job… Read More »
Borrowing from the playbook of corporations seeking better ways to track employee productivity, some cybercriminal gangs are investing in technologies that help them keep closer tabs on their most prized assets: “Money mules,” individuals willingly or unwittingly recruited to help… Read More »