I have been watching the reports from our Doru Managed Firewall system and I have noticed over the past few month a marked increase in the number of phishing attacks. I checked out a few other sources and confirmed this observation. May reports show about 10,000 unique phishing emails and June is sitting at about 3,000 right now. These numbers include money scams, information gathering, malware insertion, ransomware, spoofed links, and spear phishing.
You may not have heard of “Spear phishing” but it is one of the most prevalent attacks currently in circulation.
In spear phishing, the attacker targets a select audience by sending emails that seem to come from a well-known brand name like Netflix or DropBox or Amazon in hopes that you will click on the link provided and enter credentials. If a spear phisher were going to, for example, impersonate “Gnosys Networks”, the link’s URL might be “http://gnosisnetworks.com/free stuff“. The link is similar enough to the brand name that most people will not notice that it’s a scam. The strategy called “typosquatting” slightly alters the spelling of a brand name because most people read what they expect to read, not necessarily what’s there.
With the threats to your network increasing daily, here are a few tips to help keep you and your company’s data secure:
- Don’t click on links or open attachments from senders you don’t know.
This is the age old warning but it holds as true today as it did the first time you heard it.
- Consider a spam filtering or DNS firewall solution.
The best defense against this or any type of attack is to stop it before it becomes a threat. There are many solutions on the market. Of course, we recommend our subscription service Phalanx for an end to end security solution but there are other software as well as appliance solutions.
- If you are not expecting a file to be added to your dropbox…
It is probably not legitimate. Don’t click on the link.
- Many of these attacks come from overseas
While the email and even the page (if you clicked on the link) may look legitimate, often there are grammatical and spelling errors that would not appear in an actual corporate email.
The long and short of it
There does not seem to be any sign of a decrease in the frequency of attacks and they get a little more sophisticated every day. Be wary of odd, unexpected emails. If you are unsure of an email, forward a copy to your trusted IT advisor. If the email is a phishing attempt, they should be able to identify it as such.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at Gnosys Networks – firstname.lastname@example.org or 352.870.2034 and we will be happy to assist.