Part X: /CEO Fraud ~ Let Them Know About The Procedures!

IT should have measures in place to block sites known to spread ransomware, keeping software patches and virus signature files up-to-date, carry out vulnerability scanning and self-assessment using best practice frameworks such as US-CERT or SANS Institute guidelines, conducting regular penetration tests on WiFi and other networks to see just how easy it is to gain entry. These and many other security procedures will go a
long way towards protecting your organization.  Procedures must also be developed to prevent CEO fraud. Wire transfer authorization is one scenario demanding careful attention. Set it up that any wire transfer requires more than one authorization, as well as a confirmation beyond email. Phone, or ideally, face-to-face confirmation should be included. That way, a spoofed email attack is thwarted as confirmation is done on a different channel. If by phone, only use a pre-existing number for your contact, not one given to you in an email.

The subject of time should also be part of procedure. To guard against urgency injected by a cybercriminal into an email, standard procedure should call for a 24 hour waiting period before funds are transferred. This gives ample time for the necessary authorizations and side-checks for authenticity to be completed.

Next week find out about ~ Cyber-Risk Planning…Think Before You Click!

Tina Louise ~ www.cloudplusservices.com ~ 888.871.6584

 

Part IX: CEO Fraud ~ Policy What Policy!

Every organization should set security policy, review it regularly for gaps, publish it, and make sure employees follow it. It should include such things as users not opening attachments or clicking on links from an unknown source, not using USB drives on office computers, password management policy (not reusing work passwords on other sites or machines, no Post-it notes on screens as password reminders), completing specific types of security training including training on security policy, and the many other details of employee and overall security diligence. Policy on WiFi access, for example, should be reviewed. Include contractors and partners as part of this if they need wireless access when on site.

Policy should also exist on wire transfers and the handling of confidential information. It should never be possible for a cybercriminal to hijack a corporate email account and convince someone to transfer a large sum immediately. Policy should limit such transactions to relatively small amounts. Anything beyond that threshold must require further authorizations.  Similarly, with confidential information such as IP or employee records, policy should determine a chain of approvals before such information is released.

Next week find out about ~ Procedures….Think Before You Click!

Tina Louise ~ www.cloudplusservices.com ~ 888.871.6584

Part IV:CEO Fraud Who’s At Risk

Welcome back ~ Last month we took a look at social engineering and techniques, lets now open up to who is at risk. Such attacks are anything but rare. In fact, they are so successful that billions are being plundered out of corporate accounts. Here are some CEO examples in the last couple years cyber attacks:

The City of EL PASO, Texas 2016: El Paso lost $3.1 million intended for a streetcar project to a person pretending to be a legitimate vendor. The city made two payments before discovering the scam. The city recovered half of the money.

SS&C Technologies Holdings 2016: A lawsuit by Tillage Commodities Fund alleges that financial services software firm SS&C fell for an email scam that led to Chinese hackers stealing $5.9 million. Staffers inadvertently aided the criminals by helping them fix the transfer orders so the money could be transferred. The scam emails added an extra “L” to Tillage as in Tilllage and contained unusual syntax and grammatical errors. The lawsuit seeks $10 million in damages, plus punitive damages and legal fees. A spoofed email, claiming to come from the CEO, requested that accounting transfer money to a foreign account for a fake acquisition. Although the company recovered some of the funds, the CEO lost his job.

Leoni AG 2016: This cable manufacturer lost $44 million to a CEO fraud attack using emails crafted to appear like legitimate payment requests from the head office in Germany, asking for the money to be sent from a subsidiary in Romania. The CFO of the Romanian operation was the victim of the scam. She was taken in by the realistic looking emails and by the fact that the scammers had extensive knowledge about the internal
procedures for approving and processing transfers at Leoni. This indicates that they had penetrated the network earlier, probably through phishing emails and had been snooping for months.

Mattel 2016: The toy manufacturer Mattel transferred $3 million to an account in China after receiving a spoofed email supposedly from the CEO. Fortunately, the finance executive who transferred the money bumped into her boss a short time later and mentioned the deal. As little time had elapsed, the bank in China still had the funds and returned them to Mattel.

Pomeroy Investment Corp 2016: Not so lucky was this firm in Troy, Michigan after it transferred almost $500,000 to a Hong Kong bank. This followed the email account of a company executive being hacked. The error was noticed eight days after it took place, and the money was long gone.

No matter the size of the company the involvement of the CEO and communication with their staff is critical in the leadership, lively hood and company success.

Next post find out ~ Risk or Reputation – Who Is a Target?.. Think Before You Click!

Tina Louise ~ www.cloudplusservices.com ~ 888.871.6584

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pay Attention CEO Your A Target!

Over the next several weeks I am going to dedicate my posts to all C-level executives and the importance of keeping your eye on the ball and that ball is your company and financial future.

This CEO Fraud Prevention posts will provide a thorough overview of how to deal with this exponentially growing wave of cybercrime. I will explain how top executives in Finance are hoodwinked, how companies are compromised, how millions are siphoned off by criminals, and fiduciary responsibilities. I will cover how to prevent such an attack as well as what to do if you become the latest victim. This includes checklists of the key steps.

What is CEO Fraud?  It’s ruined the careers of many executives and loyal employees. Successful CEOs have been fired because of it.  Stock prices have collapsed. IPOs and mergers have been taken off the table. Known as CEO fraud or the Business Email Compromise (BEC), the FBI reports that it this type of cybercrime has victimized more than 22,000 organizations worldwide and is responsible for losses of more than $3 billion.

Despite these statistics, cyber-risk management remains a blind spot for most C-level executives. Yet any company, led by its CEO, must quickly learn to integrate these skills and technologies into day-to-day operations or face the consequences.  I am a firm believer of “Knowledge Is Power”, you grew your companies, with late nights and hard work so do not allow the bad guys to steal your brand and reputation.

 

Next week I will dive in with the topic of “Understanding CEO Fraud”, till then………………………….

Think Before You Click!

Tina Louise Penn     www.cloudplusservices.com    888.413.9186

 

Unusual Ransomware Strain Encrypts Cloud Email?  

Ok, not just yet this type of ransomware strain is not in the wild at the moment but what if your cloud based email appeared to be a call to action.  A smart social engineering tactic to trick the user to give the bad guys access to their cloud email account, with the ruse of a “new Microsoft anti-spam service”.

Once your employee clicks “accept” to use this service,  it’s game over: all email and attachments are encrypted real-time!  The ransomcloud attack will work for any cloud email provider that allows an application giving control over the email via oauth. With Google it will work if you get the app past their verification process. Outlook365 doesn’t verify the app at this point so its much easier.

“Stop, Look and Think before you click on any link in an email that could potentially give the bad guys access to your data.”   Please watch the video so you can get an idea of what is pending in the darkness so your prepared and protected.

Ramsomecloud Demo

This year be watchful we are all at risk, what is on the horizon is going to impact your business and personal finances.  For more information and training give my team a call for a consultation.  Think Before You Click!

Tina Louise Penn    www.cloudplusservices.com    888.871.6584

Take Action Now ~ CCleaner Hacked!

If you have downloaded or updated CCleaner application on your computer between August 15 and September 12 of this year from its official website, then pay attention—your computer has been compromised.

CCleaner is a popular application with over 2 billion downloads, created by Piriform and recently acquired by Avast, that allows users to clean up their system to optimize and enhance performance.

Security researchers from Cisco Talos discovered that the download servers used by Avast to let users download the application were compromised by some unknown hackers, who replaced the original version of the software with the malicious one and distributed it to millions of users for around a month.

This incident is yet another example of supply chain attack. Earlier this year, update servers of a Ukrainian company called MeDoc were also compromised in the same way to distribute the Petya ransomware, which wreaked havoc worldwide.

Avast and Piriform have both confirmed that the Windows 32-bit version of CCleaner v5.33.6162 and CCleaner Cloud v1.07.3191 were affected by the malware.

Detected on 13 September, the malicious version of CCleaner contains a multi-stage malware payload that steals data from infected computers and sends it to attacker’s remote command-and-control servers.

The malicious software was programmed to collect a large number of user data, including:

  • Computer name
  • List of installed software, including Windows updates
  • List of all running processes
  • IP and MAC addresses
  • Additional information like whether the process is running with admin privileges and whether it is a 64-bit system.

How to Remove Malware From Your PC

According to the Talos researchers, around 5 million people download CCleaner (or Crap Cleaner) each week, which indicates that more than 20 Million people could have been infected with the malicious version the app.

“The impact of this attack could be severe given the extremely high number of systems possibly affected. CCleaner claims to have over 2 billion downloads worldwide as of November 2016 and is reportedly adding new users at a rate of 5 million a week,” Talos said.

However, Piriform estimated that up to 3 percent of its users (up to 2.27 million people) were affected by the malicious installation.

Affected users are strongly recommended to update their CCleaner software to version 5.34 or higher, in order to protect their computers from being compromised. Take action and reach out to your IT departments, local PC store for assistance and always do your research when signing up or downloading anything into your network…Think Before You Click!

Contribution: TheHackernews.com   

Call To Action In The Link – Equifax!

No Evidence of Unauthorized Access to Core Consumer or Commercial Credit Reporting Databases

Company to Offer Free Identity Theft Protection and Credit File Monitoring to All U.S. Consumers

September 7, 2017 — Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) today announced a cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. Criminals exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files. Based on the company’s investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017. The company has found no evidence of unauthorized activity on Equifax’s core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases.

The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers, were accessed. As part of its investigation of this application vulnerability, Equifax also identified unauthorized access to limited personal information for certain UK and Canadian residents. Equifax will work with UK and Canadian regulators to determine appropriate next steps. The company has found no evidence that personal information of consumers in any other country has been impacted.

Equifax discovered the unauthorized access on July 29 of this year and acted immediately to stop the intrusion. The company promptly engaged a leading, independent cybersecurity firm that has been conducting a comprehensive forensic review to determine the scope of the intrusion, including the specific data impacted. Equifax also reported the criminal access to law enforcement and continues to work with authorities. While the company’s investigation is substantially complete, it remains ongoing and is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

“This is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do. I apologize to consumers and our business customers for the concern and frustration this causes,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Richard F. Smith. “We pride ourselves on being a leader in managing and protecting data, and we are conducting a thorough review of our overall security operations. We also are focused on consumer protection and have developed a comprehensive portfolio of services to support all U.S. consumers, regardless of whether they were impacted by this incident.”

Equifax has established a dedicated website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com, to help consumers determine if their information has been potentially impacted and to sign up for credit file monitoring and identity theft protection. The offering, called TrustedID Premier, includes 3-Bureau credit monitoring of Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports; copies of Equifax credit reports; the ability to lock and unlock Equifax credit reports; identity theft insurance; and Internet scanning for Social Security numbers – all complimentary to U.S. consumers for one year. The website also provides additional information on steps consumers can take to protect their personal information. Equifax recommends that consumers with additional questions visit http://www.equifaxsecurity2017.com or contact a dedicated call center at 866-447-7559, which the company set up to assist consumers. The call center is open every day (including weekends) from 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. Eastern time. Contribution – Equifax.

Think Before You Click!