Author: David Wiles

Tricks phishers use to hijack your university e-mail

“The majority of enterprise email compromise attacks take place on weekdays and during business hours” Spear Phishing: Top threats and trends - 2019 report Barracuda Spear-phishing attacks use a several tactics including impersonation, targeting, timing and social engineering to steal money or personally identifiable information from organizations like the university According to one report, 91% of enterprise e-mail compromise attacks take place on weekdays with spear-phishers sending out their phishing emails targeting large enterprises during normal business hours to make them look more convincing. The average spear-phishing attack targets less than 10 employees and 94.5% of all of spear-phishing...

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Phishing schemes that target academics

“Typically, the most important and devastating vulnerability a company can have, is its very own people. The human factor, or error, is responsible for 95% of all security incidents. There are significant correlations resulting in lowered susceptibility based on college affiliation, academic year progression, cyber training,  and age demographics.  Approximately 59% of people who opened the phishing email clicked on phishing links, and approximately 70% of those subjects additionally interacted with the phishing site in some way.” Alejandra Diaz, Alan T. Sherman & Anupam Joshi Phishing in an Academic Community:A Study of User Susceptibility and Behavior, Department of Computer...

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The threats of Malware and Ransomware: Part 2

Ransomware are malicious programs that block access to your device until you pay a ransom fee to its creator. It is often very difficult and expensive to remove. What is Ransomware? Ransomware locks and encrypts your files and programs on your computer and demands a ransom for their release. The fee to unlock your device is usually several hundreds of rands. What Does Ransomware Do? Basic ransomware will lock your device so you can’t access your files and programs. More advanced ransomware will encrypt your files completely. You’ll need a special key to decrypt them, which is what the...

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The threats of Malware and Ransomware: Part 1

Viruses are malicious pieces of code that infect your device without your knowledge. They can affect your device’s performance, delete files, send spam, and even corrupt your hard drive. They multiply and spread to other machines, often before you’re aware of an infection. Malware is the general term for any program that is designed to damage, disrupt, or hack a device. Viruses and ransomware are malware. Ransomware are malicious programs that block access to your device until you pay a ransom fee to its creator. It is often very difficult and expensive to remove. What is Malware? Malware is...

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5 ways to spot a spear-phishing attack…

Spear-phishing is more subtle than conventional phishing. This scam is always attempted with far more tactical precision than ordinary phishing – in other words if phishing is like a shotgun, then spear-phishing is like a sniper rifle. Armed with illicitly gained personal information, the criminals send outwardly harmless emails that appear to be from trusted contacts. Unknown to the user, these emails typically contain malware attachments that install in the background when opened. That malware then seizes control of your computer. The payloads can be anything from ransomware that hold your computer’s data hostage at a price to unlock...

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