Social engineering

How clever social engineering can overcome two-factor authentication… or not?

If you have a Google account you must have two-factor authentication enabled in order to prevent anyone to use your account by just having your username and password. If you don’t know how to do that, check my free eBook here. 2FA requires something that you know (username and password) and something that you have (smartphone) in order to allow access to your account.Unless somebody gets all of them, they simply can’t steal your account. Until now… Alex MacCaw has published screenshots from a new scam appeared that is targeting Google users who have two-factor authentication enabled (2FA). It works like this: You receive an SMS pretending to come from Google requesting you to reply via SMS immediately with the code you receive from the real Google. Or, if you were not convinced, there is even a better version available:   I will try to hack my own GMAIL account, just to see how hard it is.   This is how Google tries to help to get your password reset: Select option 1 2. Select a recovery email address to receive a code: 3. Click on “Verify your identity” above Whoa… I don’t remember the second one …  But the first one is definitely…

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The three most common web based attacks and how to protect against them

Cybercriminals increasingly are attacking enterprises at their weakest point: the end user device. New forms of malware and social engineering attacks threaten your users every day, and even more so as they expand their use of Web-based applications. 1. Drive-by downloads. Users are visiting known websites that have a good reputation and don’t even think that it might be possible that something wrong can happen. If such website had some vulnerabilities or was simply hacked and the cybercriminals manipulated it to serve malware, then a huge amount of users can be endangered. A drive-by download happens usually by of fooling the user to click on something that triggers the download. In some cases, due to exploits (web, java, flash, etc.), there is automatically a file dropped on user’s computer and executed. The only way to not become a victim of such an attack is to have a security solution installed and running. The solution must have also a web filter near the real time protection which is a default in any serious product. The web filter intercepts the HTTP traffic before it reaches the real time scanner and it might be able to remove the dangerous content or at least to prevent…

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The biggest threats in the mobile world: social engineering and malicious apps

The growth of the smart devices (smartphones, iPhones, tablets, intelligent TVs and so on) brought not only joy to the owners. The average consumer of these devices is not security aware. He will try any software and will take any offer, even those which sound too good to be true. 1. The biggest threat for smartphones is social engineering. Social engineering is a way of manipulating people by making use of the human curiosity, greed and ignorance for some topics. If the user sees something interesting he will click and give it a try. On mobile devices this is even easier to be done due to the fact that the visualization possibilities and the usability are still pretty reduced when compared with a classical desktop. The infection vectors on mobile devices are the web and the email. The social engineering techniques make use of Facebook, Google+, Twitter and other social media websites to spread malicious links which can point to either phishing websites or to malicious files. There are two reasons why these devices can’t be protected as good as the desktops are: a) Due to the ubiquitous nature of the most of these devices (smartphones, tablets) it is not…

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