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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

Apple bans Epic Games from App Store

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Apple bans Epic Games from App Store until all litigation is finalized

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney announced the indefinite ban with a series of tweets.

According to a series of emails published on Twitter and a blog post by Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, Apple has blocked Epic Games from returning to the App Store ecosystem indefinitely, despite the games developer claiming it would stop its own payments system.

Epic’s iOS developer account was blocked in August of last year after the company introduced a new payment method designed to bypass Apple’s payment systems and 30 percent commission fees. Epic filed cases against Apple in response to the prohibition, with the US litigation resulting in a mixed court verdict a fortnight ago.

Apple was justified in cancelling Epic’s iOS developer account because it breached App Store criteria, according to the mixed court verdict.

Epic has subsequently challenged the ruling, and the court is currently deciding whether or not to hear the case.

SEE ALSO:

Iranian Hackers Recently Switched to WhatsApp and LinkedIn to Conduct Phishing Attacks

The games developer’s apps, such as its flagship game Fortnite, would not be permitted to return to the App Store until the US case was resolved, according to one of the disclosed emails reportedly received by Apple’s legal representatives on September 21.

“Apple has exercised its discretion not to reinstate Epic’s developer program account at this time. Furthermore, Apple will not consider any further requests for reinstatement until the district court’s judgment becomes final and non-appealable,” the emails reads.

The letter alluded to the mixed court judgement, which stated that Apple was within its rights to remove any Epic-related accounts from the App Store and that Epic’s developer account could not be reinstated.

Sweeney accused Apple of breaking its promise to enable Epic Games to return to the App Store if it agreed to “play by the same standards” in his tweets.

This was in response to an Apple spokesperson’s emailed remark from a week ago:

“As we’ve said all along, we would welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else. Epic has admitted to breach of contract and as of now, there’s no legitimate basis for the reinstatement of their developer account.”

“Apple lied,” Sweeney tweeted.

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“Apple spent a year telling the world, the court, and the press they’d ‘welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else.’ Epic agreed, and now Apple has reneged in another abuse of its monopoly power over a billion users.”

Other repercussions of the US court judgement include Epic’s attempt to reintroduce Fortnite to the South Korean iOS App Store, which is now in jeopardy due to the company’s lack of an iOS developer account. Despite the fact that South Korea recently passed legislation requiring programme stores like the App Store to accept different payment methods, this is still the case.

Epic Games’ other pending lawsuits around the world, such as two in Australia, accuse Apple and Google of acting anti-competitively through their app store tactics, would be influenced by the court verdict.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://cybersguards.com/apple-bans-epic-games-from-app-store/

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Cyber Security

Google Update on Memory Safety in Chrome

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Google shared details about its long-term plan for memory safety in Chrome this week. It also announced the first stable release Chrome 94 which addresses a total 19 vulnerabilities.

Google decided to address the issue before it gets worse by identifying memory safety issues as the root cause of over 70% of Chrome’s severe bugs last year.

The Internet search giant chose to concentrate on two solutions out of all the possible options. They introduced runtime checks to verify that pointers are correct and sought a different safe memory programming language.

“Runtime checks have a performance cost. Checking the correctness of a pointer is an infinitesimal cost in memory and CPU time. But with millions of pointers, it adds up,” Google notes.

However, it was considered a viable option and Google is currently experimenting with it.

“[T]he Rust compiler spots mistakes with pointers before the code even gets to your device, and thus there’s no performance penalty,” Google explains.

The company is currently only interested in how it can make C++/Rust work together. However, it has already begun non-user-facing Rust experiments.

Chrome 94.0.4606.54 is now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It fixes 19 security vulnerabilities, including five high-severity and ten moderate-severity issues, as well as two low-severity ones.

SEE ALSO:

Google: We’ve changed search rankings to reward ‘original news reporting’

CVE-2021-37956 is the most serious of the severe issues. This flaw can be used in Offline, and Google paid a $15,000 bounty.

The company also paid $7500 for a WebGPU bug, $3,000 for an inappropriate implementation of Navigation, and $1,000 to resolve a Task Manager issue.

Google claims it also paid high rewards to five vulnerabilities of medium severity: $10,000 each for tab strip flaws and one in Performance Manager; $3,000 each side-channel information leakage and ChromeOS Networking inappropriate implementation, and Background Fetch API inappropriate implementation.

Google paid out more than $56,000 in bounty payments to researchers who reported on the issues, though the actual amount could be much greater, as the company has not yet revealed the rewards for seven of them.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://cybersguards.com/google-update-on-memory-safety-in-chrome/

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Cyber Security

A New Vulnerability Found in Apple’s macOS Finder Lets Attackers Run Commands Remotely

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New macOS zero-day bug lets attackers run commands remotely

A new vulnerability in Apple’s macOS Finder was revealed today, allowing attackers to run arbitrary instructions on Macs running any macOS version up to the most recent release, Big Sur.

Zero-day vulnerabilities are defects that have been publicly published but have not yet been patched by the vendor and are sometimes actively exploited by attackers or have publicly available proof-of-concept exploits.

The flaw, discovered by independent security researcher Park Minchan, is caused by the way macOS processes inetloc files, which permits it to mistakenly run any commands encoded inside by an attacker without any warnings or prompts.

Internet location files with on macOS.

inetloc extensions are system-wide bookmarks for opening internet resources (news:/, ftp:/, afp:/) or local files (file:/).

“A vulnerability in macOS Finder allows files whose extension is inetloc to execute arbitrary commands,” an SSD Secure Disclosure advisory published today revealed.

“These files can be embedded inside emails which if the user clicks on them will execute the commands embedded inside them without providing a prompt or warning to the user.”

SSD Secure Disclosure
Image: SSD Secure Disclosure

Apple botches the patch and fails to assign a CVE ID.

As Minchan later revealed, Apple’s patch only partially addressed the weakness, as it can still be exploited by changing the protocol used to execute the embedded commands from file:/ to FiLe:/.

SEE ALSO:

Guardicore Labs are Sharing Details of a Critical Vulnerability in Hyper-V

“Newer versions of macOS (from Big Sur) have blocked the file:// prefix (in the com.apple.generic-internet-location) however they did a case matching causing File:// or fIle:// to bypass the check,” the advisory adds.

“We have notified Apple that FiLe:// (just mangling the value) doesn’t appear to be blocked, but have not received any response from them since the report has been made. As far as we know, at the moment, the vulnerability has not been patched.”

Although the study did not specify how attackers may exploit this flaw, it might be exploited by threat actors to generate malicious email attachments that, when opened by the target, execute a packaged or remote payload.

BleepingComputer further examined the researcher’s proof-of-concept exploit and found that it could be used to perform arbitrary commands on macOS Big Sur without any prompts or warnings by utilising specially designed files received from the Internet.

An.inetloc file containing the PoC code was not recognised by any of the antimalware engines on VirusTotal, implying that macOS users who may be targeted by threat actors employing this attack vector will be unprotected.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://cybersguards.com/a-new-vulnerability-found-in-apples-macos-finder-lets-attackers-run-commands-remotely/

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Cyber Security

Roku Will Launch an App on Shopify App Store to Offer SMB advertising

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Roku, Shopify partner to offer SMB advertising ahead of holidays

Roku will release an app on the Shopify App Store that will allow small businesses to create and manage ad campaigns.

Through a partnership with Shopify, Roku plans to assist small businesses with local advertising.

The streaming media company has announced the release of an app that would allow Shopify clients to create, buy, and measure TV streaming ad campaigns. Roku will be the first streaming app available in the Shopify App Store as a result of the transition.

About 7,000 apps and integrations are available in Shopify’s App Store. Roku’s app should be out before the holidays.

Roku is aiming for the cable and TV ad industry with the Roku app. Roku stated it would be able to give more exact information throughout the marketing funnel if it partnered with Shopify. At the conclusion of the second quarter, Roku had 55.1 million active accounts.

Here are a few crucial points:

  1. Users of Shopify will be able to specify an audience, budget, timing, and duration for their campaigns.
  2. Creative will be uploaded by the company.
  3. Small businesses will be able to create campaigns in a matter of minutes.
  4. Birthdate Co, Jambys, MoonPod, and OLIPOP are among the first merchants to use the Roku ad app.

SEE ALSO:

TrueFort Raises $30 Million Series B To Grow its Application Protection Platform

Roku’s platform, which is installed on a variety of televisions, has been gaining popularity as an advertising medium. Roku’s second-quarter revenue increased by 81 percent year over year to $645 million, with average revenue per user up 46 percent to $36.46.

The company does not break out advertising income, but monetized video ad impressions more than doubled in the second quarter compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the firm. In its August 4 shareholder letter, Roku also stated that it was expanding SMBs on its OneView ad platform.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://cybersguards.com/roku-will-launch-an-app-on-shopify-app-store-to-offer-smb-advertising/

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