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Free Domain Abuse Plummets in Q1 as Staging Methods Shift

Free domain registrations used to stage phishing sites have experienced a significant drop in activity, contributing to just under 2% of phishing abuse in Q1. Free domain registrations and other no-cost means of staging phishing infrastructures are historically a favorite of threat actors. While no-cost methods as a whole did make up the majority of abuse in Q1, the decline in free domains can be...
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Top Fraudulent Activity Targeting Retail on the Dark Web - Part Two

The dark web is a haven of stolen goods and data, and limited visibility into activity targeting your brand leaves organizations at risk. Malicious behavior takes many forms, and a lack of understanding of what or how an asset is exposed on underground channels can lead to brand damage and financial loss. Detecting stolen data on the dark web is demanding, as navigating volatile marketplaces can...
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Top Fraudulent Activity Targeting Retail on the Dark Web

Bad actors use the dark web to exchange compromised data and goods anonymously, often unnoticed by the victim organization. Malicious activity can manifest in many ways on underground channels and, because of the technical obstacles associated with accessing the dark web, visibility can be limited, making it difficult to know which assets might be at risk. If sensitive information is left...
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Top Tactics of BEC Attacks in 2023

Email impersonation is the fastest growing and most successful means of bypassing email security controls. In Q4 2022, the response-based and credential theft attacks that make up email impersonation reached their highest percentage of share of all email threat volume, contributing to more than 97% of attacks reported by end users. In this series, we look at the top email impersonation threats...
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The Rise in Hybrid Vishing: How Spoofed Phone Numbers Are the Top Email Threat to Bypass SEGs

Email attacks using impersonation as their primary means of success are the top threats making it past Secure Email Gateways. These socially engineered messages have gradually increased in volume to overtake more malicious links or attachments typically used in payload campaigns targeting businesses. In this series, we look at the top email impersonation threats based on the reported volume in...
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Emotet Returns from Hiatus, Trails QBot in Q1 Volume

QBot and Emotet payloads contributed to more than 93% of reported payload volume in Q1, according to Fortra’s PhishLabs. While QBot represented the majority of attacks, this is the first known activity by Emotet actors since 2022 and the largest spike in Emotet reports since Q2 of last year. Email payloads remain the primary delivery method of ransomware targeting organizations. PhishLabs’...
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What to Know About Business Email Compromise (BEC) Scams

Business email compromise (BEC) is a dangerous type of email spoofing that targets businesses, aiming to damage them in some way. Overall, BEC “is one of the most financially damaging online crimes,” according to a joint Cybersecurity Advisory by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA OCI), and the US Department of...
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What is the Relationship Between Ransomware and Phishing?

Ransomware and phishing are usually put in two separate categories when cyberattack methodologies are discussed. However, ransomware operators are increasingly leveraging phishing tactics to deploy their malicious payloads, and the potential for compromise is exponentiating as a result. Ransomware and Phishing - a match made in heaven Phishing is the number one delivery vehicle for ransomware...
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DRP Solutions Market Guide

The demand for Digital Risk Protection (DRP) is on the rise as cybercriminals are increasingly targeting businesses on channels outside the corporate firewall. According to Frost & Sullivan’s 2022 Frost Radar Global DRP Report , the traditional security perimeter has changed, and unlike phishing attacks that can be managed and mitigated through internal controls, these threats live on spaces not...
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Stolen Credit Union Data on Dark Web Hits High in Q4

In Q4, Dark Web activity targeting Credit Unions reached its highest count in five consecutive quarters, according to Fortra’s PhishLabs. Attacks on Credit Unions jumped significantly during the second half of 2022, with threat actors advertising stolen card data from these institutions almost as frequently as National/Regional Banks. Data tied to financial institutions is considered especially...
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Impersonation Represents the Top Social Media Threat in Q4

Social media attacks targeting organizations closed out 2022 nearly 19% higher than Q4 of 2021, according to Fortra’s PhishLabs. Social platforms continue to act as a hotbed for malicious activity, leaving organizations of all sizes vulnerable to impersonation and abuse. As of Q4, businesses can expect an average of 72.54 attacks on social media per month. PhishLabs analyzes hundreds of thousands...
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Response-Based Email Attacks Reach Inboxes More Than Any Other Threat in Q4

In Q4, Response-Based phishing attacks were the top reported threat by end users, according to Fortra’s PhishLabs. While threats categorized as Credential Theft and Malware continue to bypass even the top secure email gateways, this is the second consecutive quarter where Response-Based attacks have led all categories. Response-Based attacks typically lack malicious indicators and instead rely...
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More than Half of All Phishing Sites Impersonate Financials in Q4

Phishing sites impersonating reputable organizations continue to represent the top online threat to businesses and their brands. In Q4, Financial Institutions were targeted most by credential theft phish, experiencing the largest share of malicious sites recorded since 2021, according to Fortra’s PhishLabs. Within the group, criminals capitalized on the broad customer bases and recognizable names...
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Digital Journal: Hackers Using Steganography Tactics for Malware Attacks

Cybercriminals are increasingly using steganography to hide malware in phishing attacks targeting businesses. Read Digital Journal’s interview with Alyn Hockey , Fortra’s VP of Product Management, to learn why this tactic is particularly difficult to detect, and what security teams can do to avoid falling victim. Check out the article here .
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What is Whaling Phishing How Does it Work?

“Whaling” phishing fraud attacks target the C-suite of a company which creates high risk of extremely sensitive, mission-critical data being stolen and exposed. Fortunately, protecting the organization from these attacks is possible. Whaling phishing is a type of phishing attack targeting larger, high-value targets, which is why it's called "Whaling." Attackers themselves often pretend to be C...
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Ransomware Attacks: Why Email Is Still THE Most Common Delivery Method

​Organizations face a growing danger from phishing and ransomware, which have been the most common forms of cybercrime in recent years. Most businesses have fallen victim to phishing or ransomware attacks at some point. Every business needs to act against the growing threat of phishing, the primary method through which ransomware and other malware are spread. On the bright side, organizations have...
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What Is the Meaning of the SPF Email Standard and How Does It Work?

​ We're going to delve into what the meaning of SPF for email is, how to implement it, the benefits of deploying it, and how to further protect your email-sending domains. What is SPF for Email? Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an email authentication standard that domain owners use to specify the email servers they send email from, making it harder for fraudsters to spoof sender information. SPF...
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How to Gain Stakeholder Support for Email Security Investment

Email fraud is on the rise. Phishing emails were the most often used attack type last year, according to numerous reports, including the ENISA Threat Landscape 2022 report. The highest financial losses are reportedly attributable to phishing and business email compromise (BEC) assaults, in which the attacker poses as a coworker or senior executive at a company via email. Email scams are so popular...
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What Is an Enterprise’s Secondary Line of Defense Against Phishing Emails?

One of the most popular attack strategies used by criminals to mislead consumers into doing the wrong thing is phishing. Phishing can occur via text message (SMS or instant messaging apps, coined SMiShing), social media or via phone, but email-based attacks are the ones most often linked to the term. It's easy for phishing emails to reach millions of users at once and to blend in with the many...
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DKIM vs. SPF Email Standards: Do I Need Them Both?

When it comes to email authentication standards, should you use DKIM, SPF, or both? We’re going to cover these terms, when you should use them, what they do—and how best to protect your email domains. Is it Either/Or—or Both? Should the battle really be SPF vs. DKIM? While not mandatory, it’s highly recommended to use both SPF and DKIM to protect your email domains from spoofing attacks and fraud...