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Social Engineering Spoofing Attacks: How to Stay Secure

Posted on 11/7/2018 2:29:55 PM by Dr. Eugene Slobodzian
Category: Managed Services & Outsourcing

Recently Winxnet Security experts noticed a rise in a certain type of social engineering spoofing attack. In this type of attack, the hacker claims to have compromised your account by either showing a password that may be associated with you somehow or pretend to be sending mail from your mailbox, along these lines:

"Hello! My nickname in darknet is beau34. I hacked this mailbox more than six months ago, through it I infected your operating system with a virus (trojan) created by
me and have been monitoring you for a long time. If you don't believe me please check 'from address' in your header, you will see that I sent you an email from your
mailbox. Even if you changed the password after that - it does not matter, my virus intercepted all the caching data on your computer and automatically saved access for
me. I have access to all your accounts, social networks, email, browsing history. Accordingly, I have the data of all your contacts, files from your computer, photos and
videos. I think that you do not want all your contacts to get these files, right? If you are of the same opinion, then I think that $568 is quite a fair price to destroy the
dirt I created. …."

In another variant of the attacker claims to have recorded the subject on the web cam and threatens exposure. All these attacks attempt to exploit fear in the victim.

Rest assured that these claims are almost always not true. Most often the best course of action is just to ignore it, but there are a couple of steps that may prove useful to decrease vulnerability from these and other attacks:

  • Do not reuse passwords. If you get an email with a password that you once used somewhere, all that means is that an external web site that had your account was compromised and the attackers obtained a list of user passwords. If you are diligent at using unique passwords for important sites, you have nothing to worry about. I have written several blogs on using password vaults to help or how multi-factor authentication can make your presence on the Internet a lot more secure.
  • If you get and email that claims to have come from your internal account, talk to your system administrator. Winxnet can help setting up appropriate controls to block such spoofing and to make detection easier.
  • Do not trust anything an attacker said. Take any email with a grain of salt. Emails are very easy to spoof.

As always, Winxnet Security promotes user education and awareness training as the top security control for any organization. If you feel as though your organization is not where it needs to be from a security standpoint, Winxnet is here to help.  Schedule a call with an expert.