Tag: phishing

With Multi-Vector Attacks, Quality Threat Intelligence Matters

In the last year, the world’s attention has been riveted by a series of high-profile hacks of major corporations in retail, finance and the entertainment industry, among others. Each of these incidents is unique, involving different threat actors and motives. However, each of these attacks is also a sterling example of what we, at Cisco, term “multi-vector attack” that employs a range of technologies, deployed in numerous stages, to penetrate the defenses of the target organization. Here at Cisco, we have studied these attacks in-depth and have identified some commonalities among these multi-vector attack, and useful approaches to combat them. This blog post will discuss some of our findings. About Multi-Vector Attacks Any cyber attack, large or small is born from a weak link in the security chain. These weak links take many forms: poorly configured Web servers, gullible employees or vulnerable-but-common applications like Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader and Java are common examples. Multi-vector  attacks […]

The Moral of Sony? Stop Doing Attribution

The hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment, which first came to light on November 24th, devolved this week into a chaotic international “whodunnit” with conflicting reports attributing the incident to everything from the government of North Korea to the government of China to global hacktivist group Anonymous to disgruntled Sony employees. For sure: those attributing the attack to hacking crews within the military of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) had their argument bolstered by reports in the New York Times and elsewhere claiming that the U.S. government now believes that the DPRK, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, was responsible for the devastating hack. Officials at Sony Pictures Entertainment clearly believe the connection is credible, ordering the cancellation of the release of the Sony Pictures film The Interview following threats of violence on theaters showing the film. That acceded to a key demand of the hackers, who have used the […]

Research Exposes Attacks on Military, Diplomats, Executives

Researchers from Blue Coat Systems said on Wednesday that they have identified an online attack framework that is being used in highly targeted attacks on executives in industries like oil, finance and engineering as well as military officers, diplomats and government officials. The attacks are designed to steal sensitive information and Blue Coat, in a report, said that the attackers went to extreme lengths to cover their tracks: routing all communications between the hackers and the compromised systems they controlled through a “convoluted network of router proxies and rented hosts” in countries like South Korea. The framework, dubbed “Inception” is global in scope, but appears to have started out targeting individuals in Russia. Attacks spread via phishing e-mail messages that contained malicious attachments, including key logging tools and remote access Trojan horse programs, BlueCoat said. The company has released a full report on the incident, which can be found here. (PDF) [Read more Security Ledger coverage […]