zveloLABS detected a suspicious-looking email purporting to come from the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) of the U.S. Treasury Department. This email is fraudulent and claims that “Your Federal Tax Payment ID has been rejected.” The payment rejection is falsely attributed to the use of an invalid identification number. Here is an example of the actual phishing email (see image 01), followed by some observations that should raise red flags about its validity.
The threat landscape continues to evolve—individual and state-backed hackers and agencies become increasingly emboldened to compromise websites and servers, steal CPU cycles for cryptocurrency mining, embark on social engineering efforts to find backdoors, and sway public opinion through fake news and other measures. zvelo provides the most advanced URL/IP categorization database for web filtering, whitelists and blacklists, and residential and business protections against bad actors and malicious online behavior. Explore our network security solutions, cyber threat map, and malicious exploit detection offerings for the most advanced threat intelligence available to OEMs and device manufacturers.
At DEF CON 2012 in Las Vegas I sat through a presentation titled “Owning One to Rule them All,” hosted by penetration testers Dave Kennedy and Dave DeSimone. They discussed a recent penetration test that utilized Microsoft Systems Center Configuration Manager (MSCCM) to gain access to essentially an entire network of computers. MSCCM is intended to streamline the management of multiple devices – desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets – within IT infrastructures. While a tool like MSCCM may seem convenient, granting too many administrative features can lead to more serious network security headaches, including breaches.
Imagine for a second you were presented with a superhuman baby having the ability to learn and retain vast amounts of information. We’ll make it a girl super baby as a tribute to fem-heroes of comic book past. Now, what if on your shoulders lays the opportunity to raise her up and teach her the sum of all human knowledge that ever existed? Like every good mentor, you watch her closely making sure her misunderstandings and confusions are always kept checked, corrected, and resolved. You take pride in how accurate she becomes and are quick to reply “Bring it!” to anyone who wants to test her knowledge. Here at zvelo this what-if situation is a reality and I’d like to share with you the experience of training and working with an intelligent being day after day.
The recent crackdown on well-known Torrent services, aided by Internet Service Providers, has led to the increasing use of anonymizers. As the name implies, anonymizers allow for anonymous web browsing and are used by end users to bypass restrictions or blocks to web content. Anonymizers are proxy services, or “proxies,” that receive and execute web requests on behalf of the user, making online activity untraceable. It is the untraceable aspect of anonymizers that has caught the attention of the underground community.
The media consistently warns people that clicking on links within emails from unknown sources can be dangerous. What about links in seemingly harmless emails received from individuals of trust? More so, what if the URL of a said link points to a familiar website? In recent weeks, zveloLABS® has identified several websites that appear benign in nature at first glance, but after further analysis these sites have been categorized as malware distribution points. What made the following case study interesting is that none of the well-known Internet blacklists and malware analysis tools flagged these URLS as being malicious. The following analysis shows how these trusted control mechanisms were circumvented with nothing more than a guise and a fundamental understanding of how the Internet operates.
”Drive by” spam attacks are a growing business network security risk, affecting those who open emails containing a malicious script that downloads malware to the user’s PC that ultimately infects the company’s network. These emails don’t always include an attachment. Some HTML-based varieties are reported to be activated with the mere opening of an email and nothing more.
zveloLABS™ reported live from the 2011 Hack in the Box Security Conference (HITBSecConf) in Malaysia. Following are additional reflections about the conference and other highlights worth mentioning.
In mid-September of 2011, I had the privilege of attending a SOPHOS seminar titled, “Anatomy of an Attack – How Hackers Threaten your Security,” hosted by Chester Wisniewski, a highly regarded Senior Security Advisor and frequent contributor to the award-winning Naked Security blog.
Day two of the 2011 Hack in the Box Security Conference closed as quickly as it started. zveloLABS™ has absorbed invaluable information about web threats that parallel the ongoing innovations of today’s Internet. The previous day’s discussions into traditional attacks against Web 1.0 applications have provided a foundation for today’s discussions on the gravity and severity of similar threats executed in the context of the Web 2.0 paradigm.
zveloLABS™ is reporting live from the 2011 Hack in the Box Security Conference, now in its 9th year and arguably Asia’s largest and most popular network security conference, and here is our day one report. HITBSecConf has managed to attract a wide range of participants from many IT industry sectors, including a healthy share of government representatives, hailing from the Asia-Pacific region.