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BizReport : Internet : May 23, 2016

Brands: What you need to know about the 3 leading cyberattacks

Cyberattacks on businesses will never completely cease, but there are ways to combat the attacks if a brand knows what to look for. One expert has identified 3 leading types of attacks. Here's how businesses can recognize them.

by Kristina Knight


"This is the first topic people normally think about in reference to cybersecurity. Phishing is a request impersonating or spoofing a third party (commonly a bank, healthcare provider, etc.) for personal information. The emails may include a malicious link that takes the recipient to a fraudulent webpage and then steals their credentials. Phishing emails are similar to spam, but are much more dangerous. A typical phishing campaign will be sent to a large number of recipients and not personalized. Examples include things like "Security Alert - Login and change your online banking password" or "Your iTunes password has been changed"," said Vidur Apparao, CTO, Agari.

Spear phishing

"Spear phishing emails are one of the most dangerous forms of cyberattacks because they are extremely targeted. Instead of sending a blast email campaign to thousands of recipients, cyber criminals are investing more time researching their potential victims. These criminals are getting to know their targets - their names, email addresses, relationships to their colleagues and even the business processes within their organizations. With such information readily available online, savvy cyber criminals are able to create carefully engineered emails that successfully trick users into thinking they are conversing with an internal colleague and handing over confidential information or making fraudulent payments," said Apparao.


"This is similar to spear phishing attacks, but is normally directed at the high-profile employees of a business - essentially the "big fish". This enacts social engineering, the act of praying on the victims' willingness to be helpful - the most common type we have seen is a CEO to CFO email to initiate a wire transfer. Criminals can find an employees' social profiles and easily see who their direct supervisor is. After they have this name, the criminal can create an email address and now the entire company is at risk," said Apparao.

More from Apparao and Agari later this week, including how brands can protect themselves from online attacks.

Tags: advertising, Agari, cyber attacks, ecommerce, online breach

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