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Are Phishing Attacks REALLY Down?

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There is a recent study by the “Anti Phishing Working Group” (APWG) being widely reported that phishing attacks were down 20% in 2012.

When I first read about this I thought,
“They HAVE to be kidding!”

There is a flood of other stories that contradict such a finding, including numerous reports of high profile attacks. Last week, in fact, we learned that a Syrian group had a successful email phishing attack on White House staffers. A member of the “Syrian Electronic Army” (SEA), supporters of dictator Bashar al-Assad, proudly distributed screen prints of White House staffer Erin Lindsey’s Gmail account emails. Ms. Lindsey made the mistake of clicking on a link in a faux email from the SEA.

American Banker Magazine this week is reporting on a “spike” in email phishing that targets bank customers. I can testify that I get emails almost every day about my accounts at Banks I don’t use!

Yet, the APWG is a reputable group supported by many of the biggest names in Internet Security and corporate America. How can we reconcile this?

First, if there has been a decline in phishing attacks in 2012 it is the context of a dramatic rise in recent years. There is no standard metric, but there is every indication that email phishing scams have been booming. Even a 20% decline would leave a lot of phishing going on. Second, an important metric in the report is a decline in the number of compromised servers being used in phishing scams. The scammers seize control of a server hosting multiple domains and then create phishing pages for each domain.

In recent years that has been a significant decline in storage costs and processing power. Just last year my own internet host increased the available storage in my web site plan from 300gb to 1tb without increasing my plan cost. It was 30mb when I first started with them in 2003!

This has made it possible to host more domains per server. It is likely that a decline in the number of servers compromised does not translate to the same percentage of domains compromised. They may also be using compromised servers for other nasty purposes, such as spamming and botnets.

Even if the total volume of phishing is down as the AFWG report also asserts, there is every reason to believe that it is because they are becoming more targeted, more selective. There may be fewer mass mailings with low probabilities of success and more sophisticated attacks that actually victimize their targets. That would explain why the volume could be down but we are reading about more and more successful high profile attacks.

In support of my theory I found a report by the German Internet Security firm Eleven Research that found email spam declining in 2012 but the “threat level” increasing. That’s because email spam and phishing attacks have become far more target and much more dangerous. Drive by email, where the email entices the victim to click on a link and download malware, was 10% of all email span. This is an all-time high as a percentage of spam.

Eleven Research also asserts that a higher percentage of phishing is “spear phishing” than ever before. A spear phishing attack targets particular individuals and organizations, as opposed to mass mailings that count on a small percentage of a volume to be duped. Orchestrator’s of spear phishing attacks use internet sources including social media to learn about a victim and their colleagues to craft emails that appear convincingly legitimate.

I wouldn’t click on the link in an email from a South African barrister handling the estate of a possible relative. However, I just might for a webinar that my company is actually planning that appears to come from a co-worker.

Scammers have found social media a treasure trove of information to use in targeted attacks, and they are becoming more sophisticated. SpiderLabs, the penetration testing division of the security firm TrustWave, has unveiled a tool that analyzes an individual’s Twitter content and can assist in creating writing that appears to come from that individual. It coaches the actual writer on the style and content that would be expected from the purported author. There are indications that such tools are already in use by hackers.

Regardless of the volume of attacks, Eleven Research has it right. The threat level is increasing!

TEST YOUR EMAIL SECURITY GET YOUR INSTANT SECURITY SCORECARD FOR FREE Source: https://blog.comodo.com/it-security/1581/

Cyber Security

What’s an IP location CDN?

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If you are a business leader or a website owner who is determined to take on newer heights for your business, you need to make an effort to study the digital world and everything it encompasses. For example, the phrase that has been typed a lot in search engines is ‘IP location CDN.’

Table of Contents

Do you have an idea why?

We are talking about the CDN IP location for this article, how they are both different entities, why the search phrase begins to be ranked, and what components you can take into consideration when shopping for CDN providers.

Let’s get started!

IP location CDN: what is it?

It is essential to understand that the CDN IP location is not an actual piece of technology. They are two separate entities. The IP location is one thing, while the CDNs, short for Content Delivery Networks, are another. A quick definition of an IP address, also known as an IP address, is a network address for your device so that the internet is informed as to where the data, emails, or pictures of dogs and beaches can be transmitted.

Every gadget has now it. Whether it’s a personal computer or a tablet, there are IP addresses in every device that can access the internet. Hundreds of IP address tracker devices are available online, so you can simply turn to these automated resources to find out what the answer is if you curry where any users are.

On the other hand, CDNs are a bunch of servers scattered around the world. This is how global internet users can use media from the internet much faster and easier wherever they are. Unknown to the large majority, CDNs run half the internet. These cloud content delivery platforms distribute data more effectively to users worldwide. Without the help of a CDN, visitors to websites must collect data from the host of the origin of a site, which means that the host responsible for keeping the website and its content alive. While nothing is wrong here, the host origins are not made to accommodate hundreds of thousands of people at once.

That means that if your website is not backed up by CDN and you all visit your website from your ocean of users, it will more likely crash because your visitors will request data from the host of origin. This host of origin is also situated in one region of the globe. This means that users of your site who are seas other than origin will notice a significant delay in loading the web page. In the meantime, your users who live near the origin will not experience the same browsing encounter. CDNs are therefore helpful: because they reduce latency, and several servers around the globe help to relay your web data much faster.

Why are people looking this up?

Understandably, a lot of CDN IP positions have been searched for. If you’re shopping for CDNs, you’d like to find out where the location of your CDN providers is. It is because you would like to make sure that their positions are close to where your primary markets are located. You may be a company based in Atlanta, for example, but your website has an extensive follow-up in Sweden and Japan. In that particular case, you would like to make sure that the CDN providers you find have locations in those areas as well.

You can turn to an IP address tracker for support if you are not certain where your site visitors are. These kinds of digital tools help you find out where your digital markets are. Of course, your web host should have this information ready, but if you want to single out a single user or visitor, and you want to know where they come from, the IP address tracker should be enough. Look around online, and you’re going to find a lot of them.

How to choose CDN providers

As stated earlier, the number one thing you would like to ask CDN providers is where they are located. They might have the most advanced equipment and prices, but if their presence points are far from where your web site needs to be strongest, it may be pointless to sign up. Please note that the very essence of why you first sign up with a provider is that your sets can be loaded quickly. Check out where our locations are on this link.

Customer service is something you can’t overlook. If you entrust your Web data to CDN providers, you would want a trustworthy team to be responsible if anything goes wrong. It’s also extremely helpful to be able to turn to a talented pool of trusted professionals, particularly when you run an e-commerce business.

Source: https://cybersguards.com/whats-an-ip-location-cdn/

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Cyber Security

Facebook Announced Rewards for Vulnerabilities in Hermes and Spark AR

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On Friday, Facebook revealed it is providing substantial incentives for vulnerabilities found in Hermes and Spark AR through its bug bounty programme.

Hermes is a JavaScript engine which was released a year ago by Facebook as an open source. Hermes is used for Android and other applications by the social media giant’s React Native apps, including Spark AR, an augmented reality tool used to create effects on Facebook , Instagram, and even on Facebook’s Portal smart displays.

Its bug bounty program has covered vulnerabilities found in native Facebook code, but the company says it wants to encourage security researchers to analyze Hermes and Spark AR, which is why bug bounties have increased significantly.

For example, if a white hat hacker discovers a vulnerability or an exploit chain that allows remote execution of code while running a Spark AR effect, they will receive $25,000. The exploit can either directly target the Spark AR platform, or the Hermes JavaScript VM.

“May adjust the amount depending on the particular bug and exploit. For instance, an exploit chain that lacks an ASLR bypass will result in a slightly lower payout. Likewise, an out-of-bound writing where the route to RCE is not clear would receive a lower payout, “explained Facebook.

On average, a vulnerability that allows an attacker to read user data might be worth $15,000. Denial-of – service (DoS) flaws resulting from out-of-bound read or write bugs will yield between $500 and $3,000 to researchers.

They can also receive a bonus of up to $15,000 if they provide a complete proof-of – concept (PoC) exploit, meaning they might get $40,000 for a flaw in remote code execution.

Last year, Facebook paid out more than $2.2 million through its bug bounty program, and a total of almost $10 million since its program was launched in 2011.

Source: https://cybersguards.com/facebook-announced-rewards-for-vulnerabilities-in-hermes-and-spark-ar/

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Cyber Security

Google Announced New Policy Updates to Reject Ads for Spyware

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Google announced this week that it will effectively reject ads for surveillance technology starting next month, by updating its policy.

The revised Google Advertising Promoting Unethical Behavior Policy, which would “prohibit the promotion of goods or services that are advertised or targeted for the express purpose of tracking or controlling another person or their activities without their authorisation,” will be implemented beginning August 11, 2020, the Internet giant announced.

Google must enforce the policy internationally in an attempt to combat spyware ads and other forms of surveillance.

Such technology, explains the company, involves using spyware, malware, and other means to monitor a person’s messages, phone calls, or browsing habits, or keep an eye on their whereabouts using GPS trackers.

In addition, Google’s revised policy would also strike the sale of surveillance devices such as audio recorders, cameras, dash cams and nanny cams that are “marketed for the purpose of clear spying.”

“It does not include (a) private investigative services or (b) products or services designed to track or control parents’ underage children,” explains the company.

If any violations of the new policy are found, Google will initially issue a alert, and delete offending accounts within 7 days.

Advertisers are told, before August 11, to delete any advertisements that might result in a policy breach.

Source: https://cybersguards.com/google-announced-new-policy-updates-to-reject-ads-for-spyware/

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