Here’s a timely reminder that email isn’t the only vector for phishing attacks: Several U.S. state and local government agencies have reported receiving strange letters via snail mail that include malware-laden compact discs (CDs) apparently sent from China, KrebsOnSecurity has learned.
This particular ruse, while crude and simplistic, preys on the curiosity of recipients who may be enticed into popping the CD into a computer. According to a non-public alert sent by the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), the scam arrives in a Chinese postmarked envelope and includes a “confusingly worded typed letter with occasional Chinese characters.”
Hackers used phishing emails to break into a Virginia bank in two separate cyber intrusions over an eight-month period, making off with more than $2.4 million total. Now the financial institution is suing its cybersecurity insurance provider for refusing to fully cover the losses.
DocuSign, a major provider of electronic signature technology, acknowledged today that a series of recent malware phishing attacks targeting its customers and users was the result of a data breach at one of its computer systems. The company stresses that the data stolen was limited to customer and user email addresses, but the incident is especially dangerous because it allows attackers to target users who may already be expecting to click on links in emails from DocuSign.
Adobe and Microsoft today each released updates to fix critical security vulnerabilities in their software. Adobe issued patches for Flash Player and AIR, while Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday batch includes seven update bundles to address a whopping 66 distinct security holes in Windows and related products.
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.
Google warned on Wednesday that hackers were launching targeted phishing attacks against hundreds of Gmail account users, including senior U.S. government officials, Chinese political activists, military personnel and journalists. That story, as related in a blog post on the Official Google Blog, was retold in hundreds of media outlets today as the latest example of Chinese cyber espionage: The lead story in the print edition of The Wall Street Journal today was, “Google: China Hacked Email.”
The fact that hackers are launching extremely sophisticated email attacks that appear to trace back to China makes for great headlines, but it isn’t exactly news. I’m surprised by how few media outlets took the time to explain the mechanics behind these targeted attacks, because they offer valuable insight into why people who really ought to know better keep falling for these attacks. I also think a more complete accounting of the attacks may give regular Internet users a better sense of the caliber of scams that are likely to target them somewhere down the road.
Adobe has released another batch of security updates for its ubiquitous Flash Player software. This “critical” patch fixes at least 11 vulnerabilities, including one that reports suggest is being exploited in targeted email attacks. In the advisory that accompanies this… Read More »