Spear Phishing, Whaling, and Delayed Detonation, Oh My!

by Cyren Security Blog

Companies worldwide are up against sophisticated email attacks like Business Email Compromises (BEC).   These attacks are also known as spear phishing, impersonation, and whaling, with the goal of convincing an end-user to release money or provide account information.  

Related:  Microsoft 365 Is Wildly Successful and Profoundly Vulnerable - Here’s Why

One method of phishing is known as a Phishing URL.  In this attack, you receive an email from Microsoft asking you to verify your credentials.  The email looks completely normal, but what lurks behind the verify button isn’t. The goal here is to steal your account password or other confidential information by tricking you into believing you're on a legitimate website.  It’s effective, and even tricked savvy tech reporters on this classic Reply All episode “What Kind Of Idiot Gets Phished?”

If you’re already using an email gateway and URL wrapping, good for you!  But you’re only halfway there.

When an email hits your email gateway, it’s scanned and then delivered to your inbox. The gateway checked the email’s links against a database and the results came back clean.  We can relax, right?

What your SEG doesn’t see?  The “verify your credentials” email “from Microsoft” actually links to a cooking website.  Since that site is real, the email sailed through.

Then 5 minutes later, the clever attackers redirect the URL from the cooking site to a known Microsoft phishing site.  We call this method a delayed detonation. 

Time to layer Inbox Detection and Response on top of SEGs

Inbox Security is a new technology that puts inbox detection and response right inside the mailbox.  Advanced algorithms look at where the email came from, review the header information, and even follow the links.  All in real-time.  The system is continually monitoring the user’s mailbox, finding phishing emails, tagging them, and moving them to their junk mail folder.  Without disruptions to the user.

What happens to our delayed detonation while using Inbox Detection and Response?  When this email “detonated,” the Inbox Security system saw the URL now goes to a known phishing website.  The system removed the suspicious message from the inbox (and  from all infected mailboxes across the organization to boot).

Learn more about Cyren Inbox Security

Cyren Inbox Security was built to safeguard each and every Microsoft 365 mailbox in your organization.  It is a continuous and automated layer of security right in the user mailbox:

  • Persistently rescans inbound, outbound and delivered emails in all folders

  • Reduces investigative overhead with automated incident and case management workflows

  • A seamless mailbox plugin lets users scan and report suspicious emails 

Our threat visibility is unsurpassed. Cyren’s global security cloud processes 25 billion email and web security transactions every day; identifies 9 new threats and blocks over 3,000 known threats each second.

Ready to play with Cyren Inbox Security for Microsoft 365Start a 30-day trial, no credit card needed >

 

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