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The Next Generation of Phishing, Laser Phishing

Criminals are changing the way they use phishing campaigns, targeting upper management and CEOs. Microsoft is warning users of an increase in “laser phishing”, or “spear phishing” attacks. Microsoft data shows traffic associated with phishing campaigns doubled year over year in September.

A spear phishing attack targets a specific person. This person receives messages from someone they purportedly know or are familiar with. Typically, the email will look like it is coming from this person’s boss or someone even higher up in the company they are working for. A spear phishing attack takes much more time and effort on the part of the criminal to find out everything they can about the person they are attacking. Criminals are using social media to find out things this person is interested in, place of employment, friends, and travel.

This is a big change from phishing attacks we are used to seeing. A normal phishing attack sends out a more generic email to many users often trying to get them to click on a link in an email, or enter a username and password, like your Amazon account information for instance. We talked about this example in our Social Engineering video you can see HERE.

There have been reports of employees in the financial department of a company receiving emails from the CFO or CEO telling them to transfer money to a specific account for an urgent deal they are making. This new form of phishing cost US businesses over a billion dollars in 2018.

What this means for your business:

Educate your users on this new form of phishing. Public facing users are more susceptible like HR recruiters, customer service, and even some admin roles. Your users can be your biggest asset against attacks, or your biggest liability.

Be aware of what personal information you have on social media. Is there anything on there you wouldn’t want a potential scammer to see? Double check your privacy settings and make sure they are set to a level you are comfortable with.

Use smart passwords and two-factor authentication where possible. Don’t use the same password over and over. There are secure password managers that can help manage passwords and keep accounts secure. Microsoft found that using two-factor authentication blocks 99.9% of automated attacks.

Keep your systems patched and updated. When software companies find tactics being used by criminals, they update the software to block some of these attacks. If you are not updating your systems on a regular basis, you are leaving yourself open to known hacking methods.

Do not click links in emails. If there is any question the email could be fake, go straight to the source instead of clicking the link.

Quanexus IT Services for Dayton and Cincinnati

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If you would like more information, contact us here or call 937.885.7272.

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Posted by Charles Wright in Cybersecurity, Information Security, Physical Security, Recent Posts, Small Business

Microsoft Experienced Two Large Outages Last Week

Microsoft 365 users experienced outages across the U.S., Australia and Asia Tuesday evening. Microsoft released an update Tuesday that knocked out Microsoft Teams, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Yammer, and Skype for Business for a couple of hours. They reverted the update fixing the problem, but then appear to have released the update again Thursday and created similar issues.

On Thursday the website Down Detector started seeing Microsoft outages around 8:30 am. Users were not able to access SharePoint Online and OneDrive for business all day in some cases. Microsoft says they pushed a network update that inadvertently took these tools offline for users. They were able to fix the problem, but not until 1 am Friday morning, leaving some users without business tools all day Thursday.

What does this mean for your business?

It’s important to have a quality backup system in place like we talk about in our Q-Stack. The goal of every backup is to make sure you can access your data. Computers can experience hardware or software issues. These issues can occur locally, or remotely like we see here with the Microsoft outage. Our job at Quanexus is to create backup solutions with the minimum downtime possible, so you can get back to business as usual. Every backup solution is custom fit to our customer’s need and price point. Contact us today if you have questions about your current backup solution and what you could do to improve it.

Quanexus Computer IT Support Services in Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio

Request your free network assessment today. There is no hassle, or obligation.

If you would like more information, contact us here or call 937.885.7272.

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Posted by Charles Wright in Cybersecurity, Information Security, Physical Security, Recent Posts

Macy’s Data Breach Exposes Customer’s Credit Card Information

Macy’s sent a letter to customers Tuesday, informing them of a data breach that compromised credit card information. On October 15th, Macy’s discovered unauthorized code on two specific pages of their online storefront. Hackers successfully installed card skimming code on the “Checkout” and “My Wallet” pages of macys.com. Macy’s says the code was added to these pages on October 7th and discovered and removed on October 15th.

The information skimmed by hackers was First Name, Last Name, Address, City, State, Zip, Phone Number, Email Address, Payment Card Number, Payment Card Security Code, Payment Card Expiration Date. Information stolen was used to “Checkout” or added to the customer’s “My Wallet” between the 7th and the 15th from a desktop computer. Macy’s claims mobile orders were not affected. Customers affected will be contacted and offered consumer protection at no cost.

What this means for you:

If you shop on the Macy’s web site, keep an eye on the credit cards you use or have remembered on that site.

If you think your card was compromised, contact Macy’s for a consumer protection code key. Macy’s is teaming up with Experian IdentityWorks for this service.

Now that this is a known issue, be on the lookout for phishing campaigns to ride on the coattails of this event. As we always advise, don’t click on links in emails that are asking for username and password. Instead go directly to Macys.com or call to find out next steps.

For a quick refresher, click here to watch our video on phishing.

If you know you used a card between the dates listed on macys.com, call the cardholder and have them issue you a new card to head off any future issues.

Quanexus IT Services for Dayton and Cincinnati

Request your free network assessment today. There is no hassle, or obligation.

If you would like more information, contact us here or call 937.885.7272.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn and stay up to date on by subscribing to our email list.

Posted by Charles Wright in Cybersecurity, Information Security, Recent Posts