FBI agent with protective mask

New Hacker Scheme Makes Law Enforcement Nervous

FBI Warns Of New Cyber-Criminal Tactic

We’re just into the New Year, and the FBI is warning us that cyber-criminals have already created a new attack that’s putting all of us in great danger.

This time, the tactic is a new variant of vishing or voice-phishing―calling employees using VOIP platforms. Once contacted, the criminal tricks the employee into logging onto a bogus webpage where credentials are captured. Vishing is a form of Social Engineering (SE).

An Old Trick With A New Twist

SEs target all employees of a company, instead of a select few, and gain access to networks using the stolen credentials. If the credentials aren’t high enough, hackers locate those with higher privileges, then phish that employee immediately or save the target for later.

Using this new tactic, criminals can create an “IT Privileges” map for future targeted attacks.

COVID lockdowns make this new tactic very dangerous. Millions of employees suddenly migrated to work-from-home situations with relaxed corporate IT oversights. Hackers are now fully exploiting this fact.

XSolutions’ Recommendations

  • Employees:
    • NEVER divulge logins or confidential company information to anyone via phone, email, or web. Legitimate financial institutions, vendors, and service companies don’t need your login information to help you. Report such attempts to your supervisor or manager immediately.
    • Do not access websites using links in emails or text messages, etc. Always log into sites directly from your browser using verified URLs, etc.
    • Educate yourself. There are plenty of security blogs and other sources you can use to keep abreast of the latest cyber-criminal activity. You’re reading one now!
    • Use a Password Manager to store all login information. Never store passwords in documents on your computer.
    • Never store confidential company documents on your workstation. Always keep them in a specified folder on a protected server.
  • Company Management:
    • Immediately implement multi-factor authentication to access accounts and sites wherever possible.
    • Always operate using the “Least Privilege” model. Only give employees the access they need to perform their jobs. Review network access often.
    • Segment large networks to control the flow of traffic.
    • Administrators should have two accounts, an admin account for specific point-in-time changes and a standard account used during all other times.
    • Regularly monitor your network for unauthorized access and modifications.
    • Never operate without a written Disaster Recovery Plan. Your response to disasters such as data compromises should be planned and tested well in advance. The time to find out that your plan doesn’t work is not when catastrophe strikes! Click here to download our FREE Disaster Recovery Template.
    • If you don’t have your own IT department, then hire a Managed IT Services Provider (MSP). They’ll assess your entire network and fix any deficiencies. A good MSP will ensure your entire network (hardware and software) works together, is protected, and secure.
    • To avoid data loss, work with your IT department or MSP to install an image-based Business Continuity solution. A good one will offer instant onsite failover, cloud backups with failover, save images to two geographically dispersed data centers, give you bare-metal restore capability, and daily backup verification.

Caution: no matter what security measures you put into place, always have a robust Business Continuity system as your failsafe should all of your critical data be compromised or held for ransom.

XSolutions is an Elite Partner of Datto, the world leader in Hybrid-Cloud Business Continuity solutions. We provide Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), Backup as a Service (BaaS), Cloud Data Protection (CDP), and Managed IT Services (MSP). Call (845) 362-9675 for a free consultation. Backup & Disaster Recovery| Cloud Data Protection |Managed IT Services