Remember when a computer virus was easy to fix? All you needed to do was run an antivirus software and a virus would be quarantined. You’d go back to your day to day activities, forgetting about any virus infection and not worried about consequences of getting infected with something else.
Viruses and malicious applications aren’t that simple to quarantine anymore.
Those times of antivirus only protection are long gone. Technology into any given piece of malware has grown increasingly sophisticated. Nearly every single piece of malware in 2018 has had some sort of evasion technique (98% in fact). That means that nearly every single cyberattack trying to get into your network could actually evade detection by antivirus software.
In a third of situations, malware creators have combined at least 6 different evasion techniques to make their viruses practically undetectable by common IT security practices. In one ransomware virus (known as Cerber ransomware), cybersecurity experts found 28 distinct mechanisms that helped the virus evade detection.
Bottom line: cybercriminals are getting better at evading commonly used detection methods. If you want to keep your network safe, you might need to reassess your network security.
Getting onto your network might be easier than you think.
What’s even more concerning today than in the past is that criminals are even more effective at breaking into networks.
If you thought evasive malware—viruses and other malicious software that are capable of evading detection on your network—was a problem (and it certainly is!), what even more is concerning to many experts is something called evasive phishing.
What the heck is evasive phishing?
When I use the term evasive phishing, I’m not talking about criminals that are able to convince your users to click on an email, a link, or an attachment. Neither am I talking about a very specialized or sophisticated social engineering technique to mislead or deceive them. [Note: all of these things are very real and are getting more effective for criminals to break into your networks].
What I am talking about when using the term evasive phishing is a technical ability and the sophisticated techniques criminal masterminds are starting to use to hide phishing infrastructure. In essence, criminals have found phishing to be one of the most effective ways to penetrate networks (over 60% of ransomware and cyberattacks are derived from phishing email attacks). In an effort to continue creating effective phishing attacks they’ve realized that they need to deceive your email filters into thinking their messages are legitimate.
Evasive phishing is hiding the infrastructure—websites and malicious viruses that may lurk inside files—from security systems and phishing URL crawlers. Criminals are effectively finding new ways to bypass standard and well-practiced methods of keeping your users’ email secure.
Why do we see phishing as a continuing threat to your organization?
Phishing has become big business. So big in fact that phishing-as-a-service (PAAS) is a thing this year. Cyber experts have actually seen the sale of phishing attack kits—specifically ones guaranteeing evasion of phishing detection. There are large marketplaces on the Dark Web (that anonymous part of the web where malicious activity runs rampant) that exclusively sell straightforward kits for evasive phishing attacks.
These kits even provide everything a budding criminals needs: spoofed web pages (pages that look like legitimate pages), a complete ZIP file with email and virus. What’s very scary is that a very good kit runs in the $50 range.
For only 50 bucks, someone might be able to deceive your employee, hack onto your network and steal or ransom your data! To me, that’s terrifying.
One more take home: these evasive techniques are widespread in criminal circles.
Nearly 87% of attacks last year used evasive techniques at bypassing antivirus and email filters. The most common methods for implementing evasive phishing use a PHP code to redirect visitors from a seemingly legitimate webpage to a malicious one (the code that redirects a user to a malicious website is included in those $50 phishing kits).
There’s one reason why 2019 will be rife with phishing attacks (according to cybersecurity experts). They are one of the easiest ways criminals can hack into organizations of all sizes at scale. That is, they can automate their attacks where they only need to glean small details about a person to personalize the email (through minor social engineering) and the rest is up to the code.
My question to you: are you certain your organization will be safe from malicious phishing attacks in 2019? Contact us today for a free network security assessment.