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Home » Tag: Phishing Attacks

Tag Archives: Phishing Attacks

Home » Tag: Phishing Attacks

Over 2.9 lakh cyber security incidents related to digital banking reported in 2020

Over 2.9 lakh cyber security incidents related to digital banking reported in 2020

Over 2.9 lakh cyber security incidents related to digital banking were reported in 2020, Parliament was informed on Thursday. As per the information reported to and tracked by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), a total number of 1,59,761; 2,46,514 and 2,90,445 cyber security incidents pertaining to digital banking were reported during 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Sanjay Dhotre said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

These incidents included phishing attacks, network scanning and probing, viruses and website hacking, he added.

The Minister noted that the rising popularity of non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) along with e-commerce has also expanded the scope of digital payments.

“The percentage rise in digital transactions is 46 per cent in 2020 in comparison to 2018-19,” he said.

The numbers of digital transactions have increased from 3,134 crore in the financial year (FY) 2018-19 to 4,572 crore in FY 2019-20, Dhotre added.

Responding to a separate query, the minister said the number of websites/webpages/accounts blocked stood at 9,849 in 2020.

This was 2,799 in 2018 and 3,635 in the year 2019.

He said Section 69A of the IT Act empowers the government to block any information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states or public order.

In response to another question, Dhotre said 6,233 cases were registered in 2019 under fraud and cheating (involving communication devices as medium/ target as per Information Technology Act 2000), as per National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data.

“As per NCRB, number of cases registered under fraud and cheating (involving communication devices as medium/ target as per IT Act 2000) for cyber crimes are 3,466, 3,353, 6,233 during the year 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively,” he added.

How to protect endpoints from phishing emails with lookalike domains

Kaspersky experts have found that the service and e-commerce industry has become the most targeted by phishing attacks with domains that look legitimate. In Q3 2020, the sector accounted for 35% of all attacks that use this technique. This may be a result of the pandemic, as there has been a massive transition in the number of consumers relying on online services and shopping. Half (50%) of fake domains are only used once and 73% are active for just one day, which makes them very hard to detect. Automated multi-layered analysis is able to detect such attacks without compiling domain lists manually.

The lookalike technique means phishing emails are sent from a domain that looks like a legitimate web address, but in fact may have a minor spelling error (such as a missing letter). In many cases, a recipient is unlikely to notice the mistake, for example fraudsters will change to or use instead of The messages with lookalike domains pass authentication without any problems, have a cryptographic signature and do not arouse the suspicion of anti-spam systems.

Kaspersky’s research reveals which industries most often suffer from attacks with lookalike domains. In Q3 2020, services and e-commerce were hit the most, with IT & Telecom in second place.

The traditional method of detecting lookalikes is the manual insertion of all possible variants of fake domains into an anti-phishing solution, which is time consuming and not always effective, as some options may still be missed from the list. It is as if the police created an identikit of a criminal but were not sure about some of the facial features, so they had to make a hundred identikits with a wide range of options for the nose or eyes.

The technology which is more effective against phishing with lookalike domains includes several stages of analysis, helping to identify the fake by comparing a suspicious domain to legitimate ones, rather than a list of false ones.
When a letter from an unknown sender is delivered to an email inbox, it goes through all of the standard anti-spam filters. If nothing malicious is revealed, the domain analysis begins. During the first stage, the system compares the domain with all known lookalikes. If there are no matches, in the second stage, the system reviews information about the domain, such as registration details or certificates. If something looks suspicious, the investigation continues. In the third stage, the domain is compared with the list of known legitimate web addresses. This list is also composed automatically. If the system finds any similarity between the suspicious domain and a legitimate one, then the verdict will deem it as a ‘lookalike’.

This approach allows an anti-phishing solution to block attacks which use lookalike domains in real time when they first appear. It doesn’t require any manual actions, such as compiling a list of legitimate or possible lookalikes from the customer. All calculations are performed in the cloud and do not require additional computing resources from the client.

This approach is implemented in Kaspersky’s solutions with mail server protection and Kaspersky Security for Microsoft Office 365. To learn more about lookalike domains and the technology that can protect businesses from them

Business Email Compromise Groups Springing up in New Locations

Business Email Compromise Groups Springing up in New Locations

SCAM - Business Email Compromise Groups Springing up in New Locations

SCAM – Business Email Compromise Groups Springing up in New Locations

The Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks are one the rise globally as new fraud gangs are emerging to trick firms into handing over money. Recently, a security company Agari has detected and analyzed new waves of BEC activities across the globe.

What was discovered?

As corporate phishing scams have become more lucrative, BEC attackers have significantly increased their footprint in the U.S., South Africa, the U.K, and other countries around the world.
  • According to the Agari report, BEC scammers have been seen actively targeting new regions, including Eastern Europe and Russia.
  • Nearly half the BEC scammers are based in the five U.S. states – California, Florida, Georgia, New York, and Texas. Additionally, BEC attacks have been detected in 45 states across the U.S. in total.

The lure of BEC attacks

Cybercriminals have been brazenly attempting to trick companies into sending over huge payments. The profit from BEC attacks has become more palpable and alluring for new gangs.
  • Another recent report indicates that the first documented Russian BEC group Cosmic Lynx has been aiming an astounding $1.27 million in its attacks, as first identified in July.
  • According to the report, the average wire transfer attempted in the second quarter of 2020 was $80,183, up notably from $54,000 in the first quarter.

Recent BEC incidents

Over the course of the past few months, multiple cybercriminals have engaged themselves in BEC scams to gain large sums of money.
  • In September, cybercriminals had netted at least $15 million in a business email scam campaign in the U.S.A, affecting over 150 organizations ranging from law, construction, finance, and retail.
  • Trading firm Virtu Financial had disclosed in August that it lost $6.9 million in a business email compromise scam in May.

The bottom line

The scope of the targeted geographical distribution of BEC scammers is expanding rapidly and has extended to much larger areas than it was just a few years ago. This means that cyber criminals are growing and becoming more diversified and making new hubs for BEC activities.
Read More »

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