This week's ISMG Security Report analyzes the cost of business email compromise attacks and the recent arrest of dozens of suspects. Also featured: updates on the easy availability of low-cost hacking tools and the latest payment card fraud trends.
Insider threats are difficult to counter. What happens when an employee goes rogue, and how do you catch them? Charles Carmakal of Mandiant, who says his firm is dealing with more insider threat investigations, shares tips for better defenses.
Ransomware-wielding attackers treat infecting endpoints as a business and put customer relationship management principles to work, says Bill Siegel, CEO of ransomware incident response firm Coveware. He notes criminals "go after the low-hanging fruit because it's cheap and the conversion rate is high."
Cybercriminals are "upping their game" by stealing and then auctioning off on the dark web administrative access credentials to healthcare organizations' clinician and patient portals, says Etay Maor of IntSights.
Two years after WannaCry wreaked havoc via flaws in SMB_v1 and three years after Mirai infected internet of things devices en masse via default credentials, attackers are increasingly targeting the same flaws, security experts warn.
"Cobalt Dickens," a threat group with suspected ties to Iran, is continuing its attempts to steal intellectual property from schools and universities, according to an analysis by SecureWorks. The group's work continues even though several alleged members have been indicted by the Justice Department.
The Australian government is looking to update its national cybersecurity strategy by 2020. In preparation, it's released a discussion paper that seeks input from citizens, the business community, academics and other stakeholders.
Israel-based cyber-intelligence firm NSO Group, which has been accused of selling technology that enables governments to spy on citizens, is pledging to adopt human rights guidelines developed by the United Nations. But critics of the firm question whether its moves are meaningful.
As part of its September Patch Tuesday security update, Microsoft issued software fixes for two vulnerabilities in several versions of Windows that it says are being exploited by attackers in the wild. Security experts are urging IT teams to quickly patch these flaws.
A global law enforcement operation has resulted in the arrest of 281 suspects allegedly involved in business email compromise scams. The announcement comes on the same day as the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center says that losses from BEC scams have hit $26 billion and are continuing to rise.
A Chinese advanced persistent threat group dubbed "Thrip" has attacked at least 12 organizations in Southeast Asia since being exposed last year, Symantec researchers say. The group appears to be linked to Billbug, another Chinese APT group that has been around for a decade.
Earlier this year, intruders probed weaknesses in the network firewalls of a U.S. power utility to attempt a distributed denial-of-service attack, but there was no disruption in electricity service, according a recently released report. The incident illustrates potential weaknesses in the power grid.
Cybercrime is surging thanks, in part, to the availability of inexpensive hacking tools and services. A recent look by security firm Armour at black market offerings finds stolen payment card data, RDP credentials, ransomware and DDoS services are widely available for sale.
Email server alert: Linux and Unix administrators should immediately patch a remotely exploitable flaw in Exim, one of the world's most-used message transfer agents, security experts warn. Attackers could abuse the flaw to deliver ransomware, spy on or spoof emails and possibly also take down cloud services.