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How to deal with internal BEC

How to deal with internal BEC

In recent years, business e-mail compromise (BEC) attacks have become more frequent. Their objective is to compromise business correspondence for the purpose of committing financial fraud, extracting confidential information, or harming a company’s reputation. In our previous post about the types of BEC and ways to deal with them, we mentioned e-mail hijacks. Today, however, we’re talking about the most dangerous type of BEC attack — the internal BEC. We recently developed and implemented a new technology to protect against this particular threat.

Why an internal BEC is more dangerous than an external one

Internal BEC attacks differ from other attack...

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Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 144

Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 144

The Chinese vision of social ratings has generated a lot of hype, and people on both sides of the aisle have chimed in. However, one point often forgotten is that social ratings affect us all, whether we like it or not.

For this edition of the Kaspersky Transatlantic Cable podcast, Dave and I sit down with Marco Preuss to discuss some recent research on social ratings. During our conversation, we discuss the current state of travel, potential new hurdles, the ethics of social ratings, and more.

We close the podcast on a different note, talking about the use of personal photos in the training of facial recognition technologies — and how the masks...

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ATMs need quarantines too!

ATMs need quarantines too!

I take more than a hundred flights in the average year. Usually traveling with companions, I fly all around the world — and while we’re abroad, we pay by card or phone, mostly with contactless services such as Apple or Google Pay, practically everywhere. In China you can even use WeChat to buy fruits and vegetables from grannies at markets. And the current coronavirus pandemic has only made the use of virtual money more popular.

At the other end of the spectrum, you get the odd surprise: In Hong Kong of all places, taxis take cash — only — and just last year, I ate in two Frankfurt restaurants that required cash. What?!! Instead of enjoying our post-dinner...

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Raising digital parents

Raising digital parents

In this post, I’m going to tell you a story about my parents, how they got into technology, and what it required from me. At the end of each section I’ll try to sum up the key points and give some advice to those seeking to bring their parents safely into the world of technology.

How I got started with technology

I remember the day I bought my first smartphone, an HP iPAQ, which ran on Windows Mobile 2003 SE. I brought it home and showed it to my parents. My dad tried it and said: It looks nice, but where’s the keypad? He then tried using it and said that he’d rather stick with his Nokia with its trusty number pad.

My parents were not digital natives, in fact,...

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Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 143

Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 143

We kick off the 143rd edition of the Kaspersky Transatlantic Cable podcast with a coronavirus-driven unemployment scam in the US.

The US Secret Service has issued an alert warning that some states are seeing an increase in fraudulent activity on unemployment insurance claims. Stick around for the bonus money-laundering. Following that story, we move to the film industry. A new study highlights an increase of illegal downloads of Hollywood hits.

For our third story, we head to the UK for an NHS snafu that allowed people to see the group’s COVID-19 app roadmap. Finally, it’s back to the US, where the senate voted to extend the FBI’s right to scoop...

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Turnkey protection as a service

Turnkey protection as a service

Having worked with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models for some time, we are now becoming increasingly engaged with similar schemes for providing entire infrastructures (IaaS) and platforms (PaaS). And we think that’s a good direction for organizations around the world; using a turnkey solution helps businesses focus on their core tasks. But is it possible to provide enterprise-grade companies fully integrated protection within a Security-as-a-Service model?

Our understanding of turnkey protection

To answer that question, we must first define what we mean by fully integrated protection. If we’re talking about enterprises, then it means protection of the...

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Social ratings: Be careful what you post

Social ratings: Be careful what you post

It’s already hard to imagine life without social networks. We use them to chat, communicate, share our creations, discuss the hottest news, and more. It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that people may use your social media profiles to assess, for example, your ability to repay a bank loan. Or to decide whether you’re suitable for a particular job.

The measure of a person’s potential based on past actions, social circle, and the like is called a social rating. A person’s social rating is similar in some ways to the credit rating that banks use when issuing loans, but it can include a far wider range of information.

Many countries already see the...

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Ethical principles of vulnerability disclosure

Ethical principles of vulnerability disclosure

Errors and vulnerabilities become almost inevitable when developing any complex IT system, software or hardware. These errors are often found not by employees and technical experts of the company that produces the software or hardware, but by external researchers. Eliminating these errors and potential vulnerabilities is key to strong cybersecurity, where our researchers and experts work too. Thus, the main source of errors and failures — humans — is also a key factor for their timely detection and correction. At the same time, it is important to realize that this process of error correction can potentially create new risks and failures...

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The Snow Queen: A cybersecurity report in seven stories

The Snow Queen: A cybersecurity report in seven stories

What do you think the fairy tale The Snow Queen by Danish cybersecurity specialist Hans Christian Andersen is really about? A brave girl who defeats the personification of winter and death to save her beloved friend? Think again.

Let’s get real: It’s a fairly detailed account of an investigation by up-and-coming information security expert Gerda into how a certain Kai got infected with a nasty piece of sophisticated malware. This so-called fairy tale is written in the form of seven stories that clearly correspond to the investigation stages.

Story 1: A mirror and its fragments

If you’ve ever read our Securelist.com expert blog (or...

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Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 142

Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 142

Welcome to the 142nd edition of the Kaspersky Transatlantic Cable podcast. This week, Dave and I tackle a number of pressing stories and have a conversation with one of the company’s regional managing directors.

We start the podcast by looking at a data breach at a dating site. Earlier in the week, the Shiny Hunters made more than 70 million credentials, including ones for dating site Zoosk, available for sale on the dark web. If you are a user of the site, be sure to change your password — and if you have an account and don’t use it, consider closing the account.

Following that story, we head over to India, where the country’s COVID-19 tracking...

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Remote working and ransomware

Remote working and ransomware

The past few months have turned the world on its head, and it won’t be news to readers of this blog that the universal shift to remote working has radically altered the threat landscape. Among other things, the people responsible for corporate cyberprotection now need to consider two new factors: the geographical distribution of the office network, and the presence of computers used for work in home environments.

Threats in the office network

So, your employees are now working from home, remotely connecting to the corporate network. That essentially means the office network is now distributed throughout the city (maybe more than one). That means if a piece...

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Ransomware: Collateral damage

Ransomware: Collateral damage

You might think a ransomware-infected ATM, a timetable showing an extortionist’s message at the airport, or a slot machine demanding a ransom in bitcoins would be the stuff of urban legend. Nevertheless, people observed all those things during the WannaCry ransomware epidemic three years ago. Therefore, today, Anti-Ransomware Day, seems like an opportune time to reminisce about those peculiar cases.

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Who would even think of infecting a payment terminal with ransomware? What could the payoff possibly be? The truth is that the creators of WannaCry did not choose explicit targets for their malware. It entered the network through ordinary personal computers and...

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How to watch porn discreetly

How to watch porn discreetly

Few people are willing to discuss with their relatives, let alone strangers, the details of their online lives. You probably have many particulars you’d prefer to keep to yourself: what medications you take, what gifts you were looking at to buy for your family, what videos you watched before bed — the list goes on.

Alas, that information can become available to others, regardless of your wishes. We explain who can catch sight of your online activities, and how to make sure your secrets are safe.

More than a quarter (28%) of survey respondents said it was extremely important to keep their Web searches for pornographic material private.

1. Your family

You...

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Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 141

Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 141

For the 141st edition of the Kaspersky Transatlantic Cable podcast, Dave and I are joined by our friend and colleague David Jacoby.

We kick off our conversation with a look at what Mr. Jacoby has been up to since we last spoke with him on this podcast. We talk for a bit about what he is calling a “covidication” before jumping into his two presentations for SAS at Home (an online version of our traditional Security Analyst Summit), and wrap up with some hacker activity and note that humans are still lazy.

Regular listeners of the podcast may get some laughs from David mocking my lack of physical fitness and also what things people can do to get...

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Quantum computers 101

Quantum computers 101

Last fall, Google announced that it had achieved quantum supremacy. If that sounds a bit abstract and not relevant to the average user, think again. What the Google team did, essentially, was use a quantum computer to solve a problem that would have bamboozled even the snazziest supercomputer. Impressive, wouldn’t you agree?

What’s more, the state of quantum computing has a direct bearing on the security of your data. After all, many protection methods in the digital world are based not on being uncrackable, but on being uncrackable within a reasonable amount of time. Here, we take a look at Google’s new toy and consider whether we should worry about cybercriminals...

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How coronavirus has impacted work

How coronavirus has impacted work

COVID-19 has radically altered the corporate cyberthreat landscape. Quarantine measures have forced a huge number of people to switch to remote working. To respond to these changes in a timely manner, we carefully studied expert forecasts and research, changing customer requests, and cybercriminal activity. What we were missing was the viewpoint of those same employees now working from home. So, to complete the picture, our colleagues interviewed more than 6,000 working people worldwide to find out their perspective, and we are sharing the most interesting results in this blog post.

Equipment

To ensure corporate security, it is vital to understand what...

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The Mandalorian in terms of information security

The Mandalorian in terms of information security

The Empire is defeated (not quite). Power lies in the hands of the New Republic (also not quite). As a result, the galaxy has finally come to resemble a cyberpunk, gun-slinging Western. Here’s how things stand with information security in these troubled times.

Privacy

First, a few words about privacy. Actually, just three: There ain’t any. Bounty hunters are now given a device known as a tracking fob to hunt down their quarries. Although it doesn’t seem to work in outer space, on a planet it clearly shows the direction to the target. The technology behind this device is unknown.

Is a beacon implanted in the target? That explanation seems...

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ATM in the woods

ATM in the woods

Securing an ATM or payment terminal in the center of a big city is not difficult. Internet access is always available, and teams of specialists are on hand in case of need. But it’s a different story when the device is located in the middle of nowhere, where the nearest IT expert can be a hundred miles away and the connection is patchy at best.

People in remote areas depend on ATMs being in working order — it’s an indisputable social good. For some, they are the only way to get cash or pay for services. Consequently, such devices need to be secure.

Security challenges

The operability of terminals and ATMs depends on having a security solution able to cope with the latest...

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Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 140

Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 140

In episode 140 of the podcast, Jeff and Dave talk about the UK government’s attempt to tackle terrorism and spying through the use of artificial intelligence. They also look at Google’s fight against COVID-19 spam — there’s a lot of it out there!

In addition, they present some recent Kaspersky research that indicates fraudsters are creating legitimate-looking phishing e-mails pretending to be news about recent online purchases.

If you like what you heard, please consider sharing with your friends or subscribing. For more details on the stories mentioned, please click the links below.

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PhantomLance Android backdoor discovered on Google Play

PhantomLance Android backdoor discovered on Google Play

Last July, our colleagues at Doctor Web detected a Trojan backdoor on Google Play. Such discoveries are not exactly an everyday occurrence, but they’re hardly unheard of — researchers do find Trojans on Google Play, sometimes hundreds at a time.

This Trojan, however, was surprisingly sophisticated for malware found on Google Play, so our experts decided to dig deeper. They conducted their own investigation and found that the malware is part of a malicious campaign (which we dubbed PhantomLance) that’s been ongoing since the end of 2015.

What PhantomLance can do

Our experts detected several versions of PhantomLance. Despite their...

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Decrypt all strains of Shade ransomware

Decrypt all strains of Shade ransomware

Remember Shade ransomware? We’re writing this post because it’s not a threat anymore, and you can get your files back, even those encrypted by the latest versions of Shade. Let’s talk about how that happened.

What is Shade ransomware?

Shade, also known as Troldesh, is a nasty cryptor that began spreading back in 2015. It encrypted office documents, pictures, and archives (as well as some other types of files) and then asked victims to pay for decryption. Different strains used fancy filenames such as breaking_bad and da_vinci_code. Shade also brought friends along — it downloaded other malware after it encrypted everything it wanted.

In 2016, our...

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From zero to online privacy hero in 5 steps

From zero to online privacy hero in 5 steps

Floods of spam drowning your inboxes? Too many friend requests and strangers commenting on your Facebook posts? Ads related to your Internet searches following you around the Internet? The core of the problem is that you’re giving away too much private data. We’ve got you covered: Here are five steps to improve the state of your online privacy.

1. Think before sharing

You’re not violating your own privacy or spying on yourself, but your online privacy does start with you and your decisions. Some information is worth sharing, and some is better kept secret.

You wouldn’t post your password on Facebook, right? For the very same reason, you should...

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The problems with videoconferencing apps

The problems with videoconferencing apps

#stayhome is not just a popular tag around social networks these days, but also a harsh reality for businesses forced by the coronavirus pandemic to send most of their staff home to work remotely. Face-to-face meetings have been replaced by video calls. But corporate conferences are there to discuss more than just the weather, so before you commit to a videoconferencing app, take a look at its data protection mechanisms.  To be clear, we have not conducted lab-based testing on these apps; we browsed publicly available sources for information about known problems in the most widely used software.

Google Meet and Google Duo

Google offers two video...

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Fake deliveries in an age of lockdown

Fake deliveries in an age of lockdown

It would be hard to find a sphere of human activity untouched by the coronavirus pandemic, and express delivery services are no exception. Transport flows between countries have been disrupted, and there is a shortage of cargo planes as people and companies continue to order goods both domestically and from abroad. Demand for some items has even shot up.

The spikes in demand are causing in-transit times to stretch out. As a result, customers are getting used to receiving apologetic messages from couriers linking to updated shipping status. Recently, we have observed a number of fake sites and e-mails supposedly from delivery services exploiting the...

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Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 139

Transatlantic Cable podcast, episode 139

For the 139th edition of the Kaspersky Transatlantic Cable podcast, Dave and I continue in our usual format, talking about current events and adding in some practical tips from one of our experts.

Our first story jumps back to a very popular topic of late, Zoom. This story looks at serious flaws reported by Dropbox and also dives into the company’s vendor bug bounty program.

From there, we hop over to a look behind the curtain at Google. The company notes that it is blocking 18 million coronavirus-related scam e-mails a day. Next up is Facebook, which has not been as good as Google at cutting down on coronavirus disinformation.

After that, we...

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