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Phishing Attacks Remain Top Threat to Financial Services Organisations and Customers

The goal of phishing is to trick the recipient of a malicious email into opening and engaging with it

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But the opportunities for using tech as a tool to identify people who are in modern slavery and to assist them are far greater and they outweigh the threat. Pixabay

Criminals seem to be recycling old attack methods as a new report has found that phishing attacks remain the top threat to financial services organisations and customers.

The study by cloud delivery network provider Akamai Technologies found that 50 per cent of all unique organisations impacted by observed phishing domains were from the financial services sector.

The goal of phishing is to trick the recipient of a malicious email into opening and engaging with it.

The “sender” of the email deceives the victim by making the email appear to be sent from a reputable source, such as a government department, a supplier, or a customer of the business.

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Criminals seem to be recycling old attack methods as a new report has found that phishing attacks remain the top threat to financial services organisations and customers. Pixabay

The phishing email may have a malicious attachment, like a PDF or Word document, that, once opened, will harm the user’s computer by installing malware.

Or, the phishing email will contain a malicious URL link in its body. When the user clicks on that link, they might be directed to a site that appears legitimate, but in actuality it is used to collect confidential information such as usernames and passwords, or to install malware onto their device, according to Akamai.

The report indicates that between December 2, 2018 and May 4, 2019, nearly 200,000 phishing domains were discovered, and of those domains, 66 per cent targeted consumers directly.

In addition to unique phishing attempts, adversaries also leveraged credential stuffing attacks to the tune of 3.5 billion attempts during an 18-month period (November 2017 to
April 2019), putting the personal data and banking information of financial services customers at risk, said the “State of the Internet/Security Financial Services Attack Economy” report.

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In credential stuffing, bad actors use real credentials stolen from a third-party resource. They take advantage of a common habit of people using the same credentials for different online accounts.

“We’ve seen a steady rise in credential stuffing attacks over the past year, fed in part by a growth in phishing attacks against consumers,” said Martin McKeay, Security Researcher at Akamai.

“Criminals supplement existing stolen credential data through phishing, and then one way they make money is by hijacking accounts or reselling the lists they create. We’re seeing a whole economy developing to target financial services organisations and their consumers,” McKeay added. (IANS)

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Cyber Threat Landscape To Worsen In 2020

90% organisations believe that cyber threat landscape will worsen in 2020

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Disney+ accounts sold on dark web
The hijacked Disney+ accounts are up for sale on dark web. Pixabay

With the perpetually shifting threat landscape, over 90 per cent of organisations believe the cyber threat landscape will stay the same or worsen in 2020 while 51 per cent of organisations do not believe they are ready for or would respond well to a cyber attack or breach, a new report by US-based cyber security firm FireEye said on Tuesday.

FireEye’s “Cyber Trendscape” report surveyed over 800 Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and other senior executives across North America, Europe and Asia to uncover attitudes towards some of cyber security’s most prevalent topics.

“Our new ‘Cyber Trendscape’ report highlights the overall beliefs and perceptions of senior leaders regarding top cyber security priorities for 2020 and beyond as well areas where they differ across the globe,” Eric Ouellet, Global Security Strategist at FireEye, said in a statement.

“These critical data points will help organisations to bring focus and clarity to their cyber security programmes, while helping to expand the dialogue with senior leadership and the board,” Oullet added.

Cyber attack
The cyber threat landscape will worse in 2020. Pixabay

According to the report, 29 per cent of organisations with cyber attack and breach response plans in place have not tested or updated them in the last 12 months or more.

Globally, organisations allocated their cyber security budgets into four main categories with the largest allocations going to the areas of prevention (42 per cent) and detection (28 per cent), followed by containment and remediation.

However, Japan was the only country to break away from this order, expressing a greater emphasis on detection (40 per cent) and then prevention (35 per cent).

Notably, 44 per cent global respondents expressed having transitioned some of their environment to the Cloud, and that they were monitoring cautiously.

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Additionally, 35 per cent had transitioned some of their environment with plans to continue, and 17 per cent had completed a full Cloud deployment. US organisations reported being furthest along in adopting a Cloud-first approach with 37 per cent having finished a complete Cloud migration. (IANS)