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BitDam Blog

Maor hizkiev
Maor hizkiev
2 minutes & 6 seconds read · May 28, 2020

Which attacks bypassed O365 ATP?

In the last couple of weeks, we noticed a significant increase in the number of threats bypassing O365 ATP. We observed the same trend across multiple customers and industries, all in the US. Interestingly, most of these attacks were phishing campaigns, impersonating Microsoft.

Detecting cyberthreats that bypassed O365, along with other advanced email security solutions such as Proofpoint TAP and G Suite Enterprise, is not new to us. As BitDam’s Advanced Threat Detection is located as a last line of defense, it detects all those threats that were missed by the first line email security in place. If you’d like to learn more, you can always check out the most recent cyberattacks in the wild and which security solutions they missed in this live dashboard.

With that said, in the past two weeks, we noticed something different. Between May 13th to May 27th we have seen a drastic increase in the number of cyberattacks that were missed specifically by O365 ATP across most of our customers in the US. This includes malicious files and phishing links delivered by email. Here is some interesting statistics:

  • 67% of the malicious emails misses by O365 ATP were phishing emails, the other 33% contained malware
  • 90% of the phishing emails tried capturing credentials for Microsoft’s products, many of them by using notifications such as ‘a document is waiting for you’, or ‘a voicemail is waiting for you’.
  • 98% of the malicious files were excel files, with many of them using macros
  • 89% of the malicious excel files included ‘invoice’, ‘receipt’ in their filename

Since we have expanded our offering from malware only to providing also phishing protection, our researchers see constant growth in the number of phishing attacks. In the past few weeks, this trend was accelerated, and they have observed a significant spike in this type of attack. While it’s a known fact that phishing is the leading threat exploiting COVID-19, we were surprised to see the portion of phishing attacks that bypass O365 ATP, one of the leading email security solutions in the market. In one case, protecting a customer that uses O365 ATP, BitDam detected 29 malicious files in one day (!) targeting mainly the organization’s executives.

To get a real and continuous picture of how protected your email is against TODAY’s threats – which attacks are missed by your current email security and what types of attacks are putting your organization at risk – sign up for BitDam’s next generation Breach & Attack Simulation here. Spoiler: you’re going to be surprised…

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Amie Schwedock
Amie Schwedock
2 minutes & 21 seconds read · April 16, 2020

Daniel Baird, Graham’s Family Dairy on BitDam Email and OneDrive Security

Daniel Baird, Head of Information Technology, Graham’s Family Dairy

We’ve interviewed Daniel Baird, Graham’s Family Dairy Head of Information Technology about his experience with BitDam’s Advanced Threat Protection (ATP). Graham’s Family Dairy is a household food and beverage name within Scotland; at the forefront of everyone’s breakfast table.

Here is the result in video and text:

Q: Daniel, what was your email security solution prior to using BitDam? Why did you decide to add another solution like BitDam’s?

A: Our security solution prior to using BitDam was Microsoft O365 ATP (Advanced Threat Protection). We were happy with O365 ATP, and still are, but understood that this is just part of the entire solution. While O365 ATP is great as the basic layer of email security, it protected us only from known threats. We were getting huge amounts of threats through Microsoft’s ATP product and these needed to be mitigated against. We’ve added BitDam on top of this as an extra tier of protection to make sure we’re protected against both known and unknown threats. The issue about these unknown threats is that they keep coming and they are not as rare as you’d think.

Q: Why did you decide to try BitDam?

A: I really liked BitDam’s fresh approach to security. While all other vendors are focused on data-driven technologies (that depend on heuristic definitions) and work well protecting threats that were seen in the wild in the past, BitDam uses a very different, model-driven approach, that detects unknown threats from the very first moment they’re out there. Furthermore, they protect OneDrive in addition to O365 email, which means that our end-users are protected on every front.

Q: What have the results been so far? What does BitDam enable?

A: BitDam has successfully identified several threats that have made it through the Microsoft security piece, and has given us advanced warning.  Users don’t even notice it which is another advantage.

Q: Can you share some insight about the setup process and trial?

A: It took literally 10 minutes, probably five minutes, and it was very, very seamless. We actually started the trail when I was in the coffee shop at a conference talking to their rep. It was super-easy. Within a few weeks, we were able to realize the ROI of this solution and decided to go for it. Once you see with your own eyes the significant amount of attacks that bypass your current security and being caught by it, you don’t hesitate anymore.

Q: How would you describe, in a sentence or two, what BitDam does?

A: BitDam provides an extra tier of protection to our Office 365 email and our One Drive files. This gives us advanced intelligence against the unknown threats.

 

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Unknown Threats are The Achilles Heel of Email Security
Liron Barak
Liron Barak
2 minutes & 55 seconds read · April 7, 2020

Unknown Threats are The Achilles Heel of Email Security

How secure is your organization’s email? Unfortunately, a lot less secure than many people think. For example, did you know that up to 45% of emerging threats bypass at least one of the leading email security products?

In a must-read study entitled “Unknown Threats: The Achilles Heel of Email Security”, BitDam researchers follow up on a previous study to provide even more updated, in-depth and actionable information around the email security threat.

 

A Quick Primer

It’s no secret that most cyber attacks start with an email bearing a malicious file or link. While organizations rely on email security products to protect their email, malicious files and links regularly bypass the leading email security products – leaving them vulnerable to attacks including Ransomware, Phishing and malware leading to Data Breaches.

Two factors compound this threat:

        • Many “mainstream” email security products struggle to detect threats they encounter for the first time (“Unknown Threats at First Encounter”)
        • Attackers are leveraging automation to mutate common threat variants, resulting in a massive increase in Unknown Threats

     

  • This creates the perfect storm for attackers and can potentially inundate security products. All this, and more, is in the latest study.
  • The Study – What’s New

    The study now covers five months of empirical data, and includes a strengthened conclusion from the original study thanks to more data from Office 365 ATP and G Suite Enterprise.

    In a major step forward, the study now includes data from Proofpoint TAP, one of the market leaders in the U.S. (Spoiler alert: it too has a Miss Rate over the study period of over 20%).

    The study showcases updated metrics such as Miss Rate at First Encounter and Time To Detect (TTD) for the leading email security solutions.

     

    Key Findings

    What’s distressing is that the email security systems in the study – Microsoft’s Office 365 ATP, G-Suite Enterprise and ProofPoint TAP – have high miss rates of 20% to 40% for Unknown Threats at First Encounter.

    45% of threats bypass at least one of these leading products and it takes them between 10 and 53 hours (yes, that’s over 2 days) to start protecting against the threats they first missed.

    Study Graph

    Who Stopped It Best?

    We’ll let you go over the data in-depth in the study, but a quick summary shows how these solutions compare over the period analyzed:

    • Office 365 ATP: Miss Rate of 25%. Average TTD is 53 hours.
    • G Suite Enterprise: Miss rate of 35%. Average TTD is 32 hours.
    • Proofpoint TAP: Miss rate of 23%. Average TTD is 10 hours.

     

    Does Having A Combination of These Protect Me?

    Unfortunately, the answer is no.

    In an example where a combination of Proofpoint TAP and Microsoft Office 365 ATP are used, the data shows that Office ATP only picks up around a third of what Proofpoint misses. Even if your security stack includes more than one of these solutions – such as this particular common combination – you are still exposed to 15% of threats.

    Proofpoint data

     

    Staying Protected

    As the study shows in detail, the security products many organizations rely on to protect their email fail to provide protection against unknown threats – much like a vaccine that protects against the previous mutation of a virus, and not the next one.

    In case you were wondering, BitDam was able to correctly identify all the unknown threats missed by the email security products covered in the study. Making BitDam ATP the natural choice for augmenting current email security products, and effectively addressing the risk customers face today from their incoming email.

    Download the updated study and see the real-time data here.

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Rotem Shemesh
Rotem Shemesh
3 minutes & 1 second read · April 2, 2020

BitDam Secures Zoom and Microsoft Teams

Most people today use some kind of instant messaging channel as part of their workday routine. We use these applications to share files, attachments, connect and work with colleagues, customers, vendors and partners across the globe. In this global world, the use of screen-sharing and video conferencing has also become significant. With most businesses operating online, the security for these applications are imperative.

This is always true! However, in the past weeks, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and WFH phenomena, we are seeing an unprecedented growth in the usage of these platforms by existing users as we well as a huge spike in demand from new users. This is going to leave an indelible impact on technology adoption and growth in years to come, according to analysts at Frost & Sullivan.

To put things in context, Microsoft Teams user base grew to 44M from 13M users in July 2019.

Zoom on the other hand, experienced a 67% growth in their daily active user base in the first three months of 2020. The company added 2.22M monthly active users so far in 2020, while in 2019 it added 1.99M in total, according to estimates from Bernstein Research analysts.

 

A New Challenge Emerging: Cyber Attacks Via Enterprise Communication

The enormous growth in usage of enterprise collaborations tools in general, and Zoom and MS Teams in particular, is a fertile ground for cyber attackers. Hackers take advantage of the fact that people use these different platforms more often. According to the World Economic Forum,  cybercriminals exploit the fact that many employees who are working from home have not applied the same security on their networks that would be in place in a corporate environment, or that enterprises haven’t deployed the right technologies or corporate security policies to ensure that all corporate-owned or corporate-managed devices have the exact same security protections, regardless of whether they’re connected to an enterprise network or an open home WiFi network.

Considering this new situation – the fact that most employees are working from home and the rising risk in the usage of Zoom, MS Teams and other collaboration channels – organizations must take proactive actions to ensure that these tools are not used by bad actors to penetrate their networks, which usually leads to phishing, ransomware and data breaches, causing enormous damage.

Why is this important? Files and links sent via these platforms are an easy access point for hackers. Zoom and MS Teams allow you to work with other users outside of your organization. They might have different levels and practices of security, putting your organization vulnerable to threats from the outside when sharing files and URLs.

 

Securing your Zoom and MS Teams Accounts

What’s clear is the use of instant messaging, screen-sharing and video conferencing platforms like Zoom, MS Teams and others will continue. This is where BitDam Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) comes in. You can deploy BitDam ATP for Zoom and Microsoft Teams with a matter of two clicks and with no interference to end users. BitDam will scan all files and URLs sent within your Zoom and Microsoft Teams accounts before they reach the end users, and would block and quarantine the malicious ones. Since BitDam’s technology is attack agnostic, it will protect your business from phishing, ransomware and any other type of malware, even when working from home.

 

BitDam stepped up to support businesses in these vulnerable times and is now offering a free trial for BitDam ATP for MS Teams as well as for Zoom. You’re welcome to try it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Maor hizkiev
Maor hizkiev
2 minutes & 33 seconds read · March 19, 2020

5 Free Cybersecurity Tools That Will Help Protect Your Organization Through The Coronavirus Chaos

Facebook, Google, Twitter and many other companies both large and small have implemented remote working policies for many – or all – of their employees around the world. Millions are now working from home, and many organizations are scrambling to provide the collaboration tools and infrastructure to support this change.

The good news is that some companies have special offers in place to help companies through this chaotic period. For example, Google is offering its premium version of Hangouts Meet for free, to assist businesses and schools operating remotely. Microsoft meanwhile has made its Teams platform available for free.

 

Free Cyber Security Tools

When it comes to cyber security, the attackers and threats haven’t stopped because of the coronavirus. If anything, they’ve increased dramatically. Below you can find 5 free cyber security tools to help keep your business protected during this challenging time.

1. Odo 

Odo enables the management of least privilege access to internal resources with real-time, intelligent trust decisions based on defined policies and contextual data. During this time, Odo is offering free subscriptions to OdoAccess, its secure remote access solution. This free offer is available to companies for use by employees based in countries impacted by the Coronavirus health crisis, as defined by Odo. 

2. Cyberark

Cyberark specializes in secure privileged access. The company is offering its CyberArk Alero feature – which provides secure remote access to critical systems managed by CyberArk – at no cost through the end of May. The offer is for qualified customers as determined by Cyberark. 

3.  Duo Security from Cisco

Cisco is providing extended free licenses and expanded usage counts for three of its security products at no charge until July 1st 2020. The free products included are: 

    • Cisco Umbrella, which protects users from malicious websites
    • Duo Security, which allows organizations to verify users’ identities and establish device trust – before granting access to applications
    • Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client, which provides mobile device security

 

4. PC Matic

PC Matic is offering its PC Pro suite of security tools at no charge until June 30th 2020. The software utilizes PC Matic’s real-time whitelist technology to block unwanted and unsafe programs from executing on workstations. In order to qualify, companies must have ten or more remote workstations, and includes all onboarding and support services. 

5. BitDam ATP for Teams

BitDam, who is mainly known for its Advanced Threat Protection solution for O365 email and OneDrive, is now offering its powerful ATP for Teams at no charge for three months. As remote workers use more collaboration tools – such as instant messaging and video conferencing – users are increasingly exposed to further threats as many of these collaboration tools are not fully secure. There are very few security tools solutions for these collaboration platforms, which is why BitDam resolved to offer BitDam ATP for Teams for free.

Navigate This Chaotic Period Safely

With more employees working remotely, and an environment of increasing cyber security risks, it’s more critical than ever to ensure your entire workforce – remote or otherwise – is protected. 

These 5 free cyber security tools are an excellent start to strengthen your security posture. 

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Rotem Shemesh
Rotem Shemesh
4 minutes & 50 seconds read · March 13, 2020

How To Educate Your Employees So They Won’t Be Fooled By Coronavirus Hacks

With Coronavirus, or COVID-19 all over the news, it was only a matter of time before malicious actors exploited the pandemic for their own gain.

Numerous organizations have reported coronavirus-related phishing scams. Various parties have been blamed for spreading everything from disinformation to Emotet malware. Malicious email campaigns have been sent on a huge scale purporting to be from experts such as the World Health Organization, which cynically trick users into clicking links, downloading files or sharing credentials – all of which can have disastrous consequences.

Employees, who are already receiving legitimate coronavirus-related emails from their HR departments, are at higher risk than ever. Working remotely from home compounds the problem even more.

Employees Are Human

Employees are not machines that can be programmed to react consistently. Since they are now more stressed than usual thanks to doomsday headlines, they are more vulnerable to phishing and malware scams that target their pain points and take advantage of their fears.

For example, an email doing the rounds scares users with fake AIDS results, not to mention coronavirus-themed shocks. This climate of uncertainty is exactly what the attackers want to exploit: humans make less-informed – that is to say, worse – decisions when under stress. That’s how otherwise smart, well-educated employees can suddenly find themselves clicking on a coronavirus phishing email – and compromising your network in the process.

Working From Home – Increased Risk

Another factor increasing the impact of coronavirus hacks is the disruption to routine. Flights have been canceled en masse. Thousands have been told not to come into the office, but rather to work from home – including all Google employees in North America.

Not only does this disruption to routine affect decision-making, but it also means that users don’t have access to the security measures they have come to rely on at their offices. For example:

  • Not all companies have Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), and even if they use a VPN, it’s not 100% effective
  • Employees might be using their home computer, with no end-point security and no dedicated email security
  • Employees might have standard security measures in place – such as O365 E3 or Dropbox Enterprise Security – without realizing that this does not protect them from all threats
  • The use of communication platforms such as instant messengers and shared drives is likely to dramatically increase
  • Other conferencing and productivity apps’ usage will spike, such as screen sharing tools, video conferencing platforms and other corporate collaboration tools
  • So much so that Microsoft has offered its premium Teams platform for free over the next six months while Google is making the premium version of its Hangouts Meet workplace video chat tool free until July

The increased reliance on these productivity tools coupled with the lack of security offered by a traditional office setting poses a massive security risk to organizations.

How To Protect Employees

Keeping your employees protected – and by extension your entire network – is no easy task. The best possible protection will leverage a combination of technology, including the latest cyber defense tools, together with awareness and education around coronavirus scams.

Education and Awareness

Educating employees can go a long way towards increasing your organizational security. Now more than ever, it’s critical that you as an employer emphasize the importance of these instructions. While only part of an effective overall solution, the following should be addressed when educating employees:

  • Educate your employees about the coronavirus related scams that are out there, so they’ll be aware and therefore more cautious around any type of corona-related communication
  • If possible, show them real-world examples
  • Educate specifically around how to prevent ransomware attacks
  • Try these templates to help spread your important message without creating confusion (note the Ransomware attack and Phishing templates specifically)
  • Ask them to read coronavirus-related instructions from official websites only
  • Of course, remind employees not to open or download files from an email address they don’t know
  • Have employees be aware of what constitutes a suspicious request, such as any request for account credentials or strange downloads
  • Remind employees the alert procedures so that employees know how to alert their administrator to any suspicious emails or unusual activity

Technology and Cyber Security

Education is important, but without an effective cyber security practice behind you, your organization is highly vulnerable to coronavirus – and other – cyber attacks. When choosing a solution, you should ensure that:

  • Protection is effective independent of employee location and office facilities, and that all collaboration channels are covered
  • Remember these channels are going to be used significantly more due to the decentralization of the workplace thanks to coronavirus, and therefore extra care is required here
  • Since 92% of malware is delivered via email, protecting users’ email is critical. Use an attack-agnostic email security solution, ensuring it detects malware pre-delivery
  • Do this for all collaboration channels that are used when working remotely, as an attack is highly likely to come via Google Drive, for example
  • Even if you are working from home, you can check your current corporate email security posture with BitDam Lucky Meter
  • All the tools employees communicate with are protected, including:
  • Email (covering attachments and URLs)
  • Cloud drives (Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox etc.)
  • Enterprise Messaging applications (Teams, Skype, Slack etc.)
  • Additional digital communication tools

Many tools protect certain aspects of employees’ day-to-day computer usage, each with varying degrees of success. This makes implementing a comprehensive security solution covering all malware detection and prevention scenarios an essential priority for organizations of any size.

Your Comprehensive Cyber Security Partner

To ensure your organization is secure, you have to continuously test its security posture. This can be done, even from home, using BitDam Lucky Meter which continuously tests your email security against the latest malware samples from the wild.

Deploy it for free and get a sense of your security posture – especially in these crazy times of coronavirus hysteria.

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study 2020
Liron Barak
Liron Barak
3 minutes & 9 seconds read · February 7, 2020

Shocking Study: Our Email Is A Whole Lot Less Secure Than Most People Think

If you were offered a bulletproof vest that protects you from only the second bullet – would you take it? The answer, most likely, is “Absolutely not”!

Yet when it comes to emails, that’s exactly what the vast majority of people sign up for when they trust common email security solutions. Malware, Phishing, Ransomware and by extension Data Breaches are able to breeze through these security solutions – essentially meaning that the vast majority of organizations are leaving their security to chance, hoping they won’t be attacked next.

Finally, and for the first time, it’s confirmed by empirical research. In this groundbreaking study, our latest published findings demonstrate that it’s worse than most people thought: up to 40% of malicious emails get through common security solutions.

Why is this? It’s primarily due to how these common security solutions work.

Why Security Solutions Miss So Much

Dealing with known threats is relatively easy. Most products are built and maintained to handle them. It’s threats that are encountered for the first time, or Unknown Threats, that pose the greatest challenge.

Traditional email security solutions have to first encounter these threats, then analyze them, validate that they are indeed a threat, then classify them and only then can they recognize and stop the threat.

In the meantime, these malicious emails are hitting your inbox and those of coworkers and employees. In fact, we found that the length of time it takes until these threats are actually detected – the Time To Detect, or TTD – is 24-48 hours on average, and often a lot longer. Not very helpful, in fact completely useless when it comes to this vital area of your security.

It gets worse: these threats are now being automated to constantly mutate in order to evade security systems. As soon as the system has learned to defend against one threat, it’s cousin has already evolved to evade those same checks.

What To Expect In The Study

In the study, you’ll find how common email security systems, such as Microsoft’s Office 365 ATP, G-Suite Enterprise and others, have a high miss rate of between 20% and 40% for unknown threats at first encounter.

What’s more, we show how these systems take between 24 to 28 hours to start protecting against the threats they first missed. This Detection Gap means that enterprises are continually unprotected against unknown threats.

Most importantly, we’ll show what you can do to protect yourself.

Key Findings

Some of the key findings over the period of the study include:

Microsoft Office 365

    • Microsoft Office miss rate is around 23%
    • Average TTD is 48 hours
    • Around 20% of unknown threats take 4 days or more to be detected

 

Google G Suite Enterprise

  • Google G Suite Enterprise’s miss rate is around 35%
  • Average TTD is around 26 hours
  • Around 10% of unknown threats take 3 days or more to be detected

Following The Study and Staying Protected

Since data-driven threat detection technologies fail to provide protection against unknown threats due to their inherent dependency on data, they must be augmented by a different technological approach in order to provide better email security.

The BitDam solution is built on top of a unique threat-agnostic detection engine. BitDam’s model-driven threat detection technology at the heart of BitDam ATP allows it to reach extremely high detection rates for unknown threats at first encounter.

Its TTD is zero, so full protection power is available at all times.

BitDam is able to correctly identify all the unknown threats missed by the email security products in this study, making BitDam a natural choice for augmenting current email security products and considerably reducing the risk customers face today from their incoming email.

For more data and insights, and to learn about staying protected against Unknown Threats, visit this page and download the full study.

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Alex Livshiz
Alex Livshiz
4 minutes & 4 seconds read · January 20, 2020

Trends in Cyberattacks: The Villains of 2019

Trends in Cyberattacks: The Villains of 2019

It seems that no sooner has the world recovered from one cyberattack, that another one hits and causes a tremendous amount of damage. One of the main challenges faced by organizations and security professionals is the constantly evolving  nature of cyber attacks, as they have to keep changing their methods in order to stay effective.
Interestingly, our research shows that many major cyber attacks originate from one of only a handful of “families” – and that understanding the constantly evolving nature of these attacks is a key step in ensuring you stay protected.

Cyber Attack Trends

We pooled the collective knowledge of cyber experts to map global cyber attack trends over time. Using data from Twitter, we mapped the key attack families and looked at the number of instances of each, over time. This exposed some fascinating trends and their intersection with major cyber events.

The Villains: Most Prominent Cyber Attacks of 2019

The most prominent cyber attacks of this period were variations of the following:
Emotet

  1. A polymorphic banking trojan. It was unveiled in 2014, mostly in Europe, followed by the USA
  2. Spread through malicious JavaScript files
  3. Emotet is able to intercept network traffic in order to access bank and financial accounts. When running in a sandboxed environment, Emotet changes its behavior to avoid detection
  4. Today, it spreads to new computers using malspam campaigns, mostly through links and macro-enabled documents
  5. Uses a shortlist of targets for maximum effectiveness
  6. Has more than 30,000 variants

WannaCry 

  1. A ransomware worm that was widely spread in May 2017. It said to have affected more than 200,000 computers across 150 countries
  2. The damages WannaCry caused are estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars
  3. It’s estimated that North Korea was behind the attack
  4. Has more than 12,000 variants

Trickbot

  1. A trojan-type malware designed to steal private data
  2. First identified in late 2016
  3. Has more than 2,000 variants

GandCrab 

  1. A form of ransomware that encrypts all files and changes extensions
  2. The GandCrab family consists of numerous variants, including GDCB, KRAB, CRAB virus, GandCrab 2, 3, 4, and 5
  3. As of March 2019, the GandCrab family has spawned 9 distinct variants along with subversions that have reached v5.2

Dridex

  1. Also known as Bugat and Cridex is a form of malware that specializes in stealing bank credentials via a system that utilizes macros from Microsoft Word
  2. Has more than 20,000 variants

The graphic shows how Emotet and its variants were the dominant cyberattack over this period, with WannaCry trending strongly over parts of the year, along with Trickbot and GandCrab. Dridex’s impact was almost constant throughout the year.

Cause and Effect: Cyber Attack Trends of 2019

What caused certain cyberattacks to trend over 2019? Why did some cyber attacks “come from nowhere”, while others suddenly spiked after lying dormant for long periods of time?Spikes and major changes intersected with the following news pieces and events.

  1. 01/01/19: Emotet campaigns resurge after the holidays
  2. 14/04/19: Microsoft (and later the NSA) warn of a major vulnerability (CVE-2019-0708) that can lead to a WannaCry-like attack and spread quickly
  3. 01/06/19: GandCrab creators shut down operations after making huge profits
  4. 18/07/19: Trickbot begins to be distributed using fake Office 365 websites
  5. 24/09/19: New Emotet variants are seen in the wild

One of the key takeaways here is that these attack families keep evolving and new variants emerge constantly. How can you ensure you will be protected when the next one emerges?

The Continuously Changing Nature of Cyber Attacks

It cannot be emphasized enough: cyber attacks keep changing in order to avoid detection and to stay effective. The kicker? These changes are due to automation used by attackers.
While 5 main “families” of cyber attack are followed in the graphic, each of these has spawned thousands of subsets and variants and is creating more as you’re reading this. Without much work from the attackers’ side, these cyber attacks are morphing slightly each time, much like viruses “drift” and “shift” in the real world. Thus, they bypass existing security solutions. These “unknown threats” or “everyday unknowns” are generated all the time. And by the time the security solutions recognize and block them, new unknowns have already been created. This renders them impervious to techniques such as smart signatures and threat hunting. Timing is also key here. By the time security solutions identify these “everyday unknowns” as threats, organizations are already exposed. This may take hours or even days.

Automation in Cyber Attacks: A Growing Trend

This trend of automation in cyber attacks is expected to continue and even grow in 2020. We’ve published in-depth studies that show how hackers plan their attacks. Automation and in-built evolution are now a permanent part of an advanced attacker’s arsenal.
The traditional security tools currently in use by most enterprises are no longer capable of dealing with this new automated threat.
To check if your current email security protects you from these attacks, use BitDam’s Breach & Attack Simulation tool, available at https://bitdam.com/bas/.

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how to avoid ransomware
Maor hizkiev
Maor hizkiev
4 minutes & 1 second read · January 20, 2020

How to Avoid Ransomware Attacks

Starting a new year and decade, many enterprises are finding themselves evaluating their enterprise security. The biggest threat the cyber world faces are the constant emergence of new attacks and implementations of existing, slightly altered variants. With the number of new variants , and a 77% surge in ransomware attacks 2019, it is safe to say ransomware attacks are not going to slow down in this new decade.

The Risk of Ransomware

Ransomware attacks can have devastating effects. Here are some examples.

The most tangible damage is the financial loss. The average estimated business cost of a ransomware attack from beginning to end is over $900,000. To make matters worse, enterprises are often forced to pay hefty fees for forensic consultants and lawyers following the attack.

In addition, in most cases ransomware attacks cause some downtime which affects businesses no matter how big or successful they are. When it comes to enterprises, downtime typically equals huge financial losses, considering that 34% of businesses hit with malware taking over a week to resume operations. Downtime due to ransomware typically also results in a decrease in consumer trust.

This leads us to the next point, which is reputation damage. When a business is associated with ransomware, the damage to its reputation is great and it takes a long time to recover.

If that’s not enough, many ransomware attacks also involve data loss or damage. A key asset to any business, the effect of data loss or damage can be devastating. With the biggest concern for customers post-attack being the protection of their data, these cyberattacks not only hurt the business, but can equally affect customers.

Avoiding Ransomware Attacks

By now, you are probably convinced that you better avoid being hit by a ransomware attack. Here are a few ideas on how to protect your business from the next ransomware attack:

1.    Educate your Employees

Train your employees to recognize phishing emails and fake websites containing malicious links. Inform them about the risks and educate them on which emails should raise their suspicion. This won’t make you or your employees 100% immune to ransomware but it can reduce the chances of your employees clicking a malicious file or link that will cost your business millions. Educating employees is one piece of the puzzle in keeping ransomware attacks away from your enterprise.

2.    Be Prepared with Backup and Recovery Plans

It’s important backup your organization’s data. That’s a known fact. And yet, we should stress it here again. No matter what size your organization is, or what industry you are coming from, backups can save your business when it comes to ransomware attacks. With the exponential amount of data collected and kept by enterprises, data loss can cause the loss of millions of dollars.

It’s equally as important to perform backups offline, if the backup is done incorrectly, this can lead to additional issues.

Unfortunately, the statistics shows that 73% of businesses are not ready to respond to a cyberattack. It’s true that backups won’t stop ransomware attacks from happening, but they may accelerate the recovery and save your business from additional losses.

3.    Add Threat Detection Solutions

Ransomware attacks don’t happen overnight; Attackers first penetrate an organization, and then typically move laterally through the network or lay still while collecting data. In many cases, they will strike only after a while. Threat detection tools that recognize a threat in its early stages after infiltrating an organization, preferably before it reaches the end-point, can change the game by allowing you to take action before it is too late.

What is something to worry about is after the initial infection, it takes minutes to ransom the organization.

4.    Deploy an Advanced Email Security Tool

Most enterprises have at least one email security product in place (and sometimes more than one). There is a range of products, solutions and providers with slight differences between them. These tools are effective in blocking most cyberattacks, and usually also some of the ransomware attacks. The real question is “would the email security product that protects my business detect new ransomware attacks at first sight?”. As mentioned before, ransomware attack variants proliferate quickly, it’s often too late to detect after minutes since the attack was missed. This is what  makes it more difficult for security solutions to recognize them.

It’s important to carefully test these products before you deploy one and keep challenging them with new attacks and attack methods all the time.

How to Know if You’re at Risk

To ensure your organization is secure, you have to continuously test its security posture. Try BitDam’s online Breach and Attack Simulation for email. Sign up for free and get a sense of your security posture and which of the above would bypass your current security and which would be blocked if emailed to you today.

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A Year-in-Review: The Top 3 Threats of 2019
Roy Rashti
Roy Rashti
3 minutes & 57 seconds read · December 9, 2019

A Year-in-Review: The Top 3 Threats of 2019

Moving into 2020, I wanted to take a look back at some of the must-know threats of 2019, which unfortunately, can pose a threat to each and every one of us. Here are the top ones.

1. Ransomware

One of the most intimidating threats out there is Ransomware. A malicious software that encrypts any data it can get a hold of, preventing access to this data until the ransom is paid. Attacker’s preferred targets for Ransomware attacks are SMBs. These organizations tend to have insufficient defensive mechanisms leaving themselves vulnerable to such attacks.

Ryuk

A nasty Ransomware which became very famous since its conception in 2018.

It is operated by a Russian-based hacking group called Wizard Spider, also responsible for Trickbot malware. Ryuk is a great example of a multi-stage attack, as many of its installations are done by Trickbot.

It is believed Ryuk is somewhat of an evolved form of Hermes Ransomware due to numerous similarities and characteristics.

Bitpaymer

Usually paired with Dridex/Emotet, Bitpaymer Ransomware usually targets mid-large size organizations, making it’s ransom payments relatively high.

Bitpaymer is operated by Indrik Spider, the same e-crime group that operates Dridex.

Earlier this year, DoppelPaymer was forked from Bitpaymer’s code and it appears that both malware were operating in parallel.

Gandcrab

Notorious Gandcrab is one of the most successful RaaS (ransomware-as-a-service).

In 2019, the operators of Gandcrab declared retirement, after making over $2B in just a year and a half (for comparison – Dunkin’ Donuts gross revenue was $1.3B in 2018 with significantly larger operation costs.

 

2. Phishing

Generally speaking, Phishing is a form of a cyber-attack deceiving an end-user and tricks them into doing actions or providing information, they would otherwise not disclose.

These days, not a day goes by without a huge number of phishing attempts. New levels of sophistication, along with technology improvements, brought the field of phishing to a new playing field.

Business Email Compromise (BEC)

Heavily relying on social engineering, the fraudsters try to impersonate the organization’s executives into fooling employees, usually in order to have them do things benefiting the attackers, like wire transfers. Among “these phishing methods, are CEO Fraud, Attorney Impersonation, Data theft, etc.

Watering Hole Attack

The term, borrowed from the realm of animals, refers to a situation where attackers wait stealthily for the victims in a place they know their victims will end up coming to.

Attackers inject their code into a legitimate website’s code while preserving the original look and behavior of the website.

When the victim arrives at the website, the attack will execute.

This could result in leaked SSN, email addresses, passwords or even start a download of the newest version of the attackers’ botnet.

Credential Harvesting / Impersonation

In this plot, the attackers usually create a fake website with the look and feel of a popular website; Paypal, Bank of America or even Office365 login page. A link to the website is often distributed via email and, if the attack is successful, the credentials of the innocent end-user will be stored and used by the attackers for various purposes.

 

3. Botnets

One of the most prevalent first-stage attacks.

A Botnet is a malicious computer program, designed to be controlled by the attacker.

It can be leveraged to create a massive DDOS attack, leak sensitive information from the end-users’ computer or install the next phase of a complex Ransomware attack.

Emotet

Undoubtedly, a top dog in the Botnet landscape. The US Cert states Emotet is among the most costly and destructive malware. This banking trojan is widely spread and used as an installer for malware like Dridex or Trickbot.

Trickbot

One of the most successful banking trojans. Often paired with Ryuk, causing destructive damage to organizations, Trickbot is massively spread through email campaigns. Trickbot is a modular malware, which means the attackers can adjust it for their needs – drop another malware, use Mimikatz and leak sensitive information from their computer.

Dridex

Often used as a prior infection phase for Bitpaymer and also known as Cridex or Bugat. This malware is usually delivered via malicious VBA macros in Office documents. One of the main things Dridex does is log keystrokes, trying to find sensitive banking information in hopes to steal money from innocent victims.

 

The cyberthreats landscape constantly evolves. New types of attacks and implementations of existing attacks keep emerging. With attackers selling ‘Ransomware as a service’ (RAAS), combining their operations with multi-stage attacks and installing stealth Cryptomining malware, bad actors’ creativity never ceases to amaze.

To ensure that your organization is secure, try BitDam online Breach and Attack Simulation. Sign up for free and get a sense of which of the above would bypass your current security and which would be blocked if emailed to you today.

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