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    Surge in remotely hosted phish images? Some say it’s business as usual

    Phishing Images

    A new report suggests that 2020 saw an increase in phishing emails that relied on remotely-hosted images to help malicious emails slip past filtering technology.

    Vade Secure analysed 26.2 million remote images while blocking 262 million emails containing malicious, remotely hosted images. Researchers claimed that there was a significant increase in the use of this tactic compared with 2019. They also stated that the typologies of threats are broader, citing examples of phishing schemes imitating known brands such as SunTrust, PayPal, Amazon and Bank of America.

    Standard phishing emails featuring largely text-based content are often unable to sneak past email security solutions’ textual content analysis. But attackers can avoid such analysis and defeat certain older, legacy email defences by delivering the same content in an image instead of text. As email filters have upgraded their ability to analyse images for malicious signatures, adversaries have stepped up their game by hosting these images externally, instead of embedding them in the email itself.

    However, other companies have said that phishes leveraging remotely hosted images are an old hat concept at this point – something that multi-layered email security solutions should be able to stop through a combination of modern detection strategies and tools. Another drawback for attackers who use text-based images in phishing emails – whether they are embedded or remotely hosted – is that recipients of these messages are not necessarily expecting to receive images in their business emails.

    Modern security hygiene – including better user awareness training, a stronger focus on monitoring prevalent attack vectors and blocking messages from lookalike domains – should quash the bulk of these threats as very few people are focused on the risk-vector approach, so they just keep creating new detectors which does not really solve the problem.

    With thanks to the Cyber Defence Alliance and SC Magazine. The full story is here:

    Free Phishing Security Test

    Would your users fall for convincing phishing attacks? Take the first step now and find out before the bad guys do. Plus, see how you stack up against your peers with phishing Industry Benchmarks. The Phish-prone percentage is usually higher than you expect and is great ammo to get budget.

    PST Results

    Here’s how it works:

    • Immediately start your test for up to 100 users (no need to talk to anyone)
    • Select from 20+ languages and customize the phishing test template based on your environment
    • Choose the landing page your users see after they click
    • Show users which red flags they missed, or a 404 page
    • Get a PDF emailed to you in 24 hours with your Phish-prone % and charts to share with management
    • See how your organization compares to others in your industry

    PS: Don’t like to click on redirected buttons? Cut & Paste this link in your browser:


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