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Hackers are beginning to target Apple iPhone users by sending them text messages that appear to be from Apple. The text message have messages indicating that a lost device has been found and use URLs that have Apple product names in them such as: apple.com-support[.]id, apple.com-findlocation[.]id, apple.com-sign[.]in, apple.com-isupport[.]in, icloud.com-site-log[.]in

There is a widespread belief that Apple products are inherently more secure than Android or Windows devices. Inherent security doesn’t matter here, if the hacker can convince you to install their viruses and malware it is game over for you.

Of course, other companies, especially Microsoft, have been battling this for years. The part that is unique here is the SMS delivery and Apple-specific targeting.

How do you respond? After 20 years of telling people not to click on links, we’ve discovered that doesn’t work: they are going to click.

  1. Turn on multi factor authentication for everywhere that supports it. Do not limit this to the “important” sites.
  2. Store information on systems that use AI to detect usage that is different from your, unique, usage and alert you when something is amiss, like the credit card companies do for travel.
  3. Assume that people are going click and design your security around that, instead of assuming that they can and will accurately determine the safety of links.

Every year massive fraud is committed around taxes. A lot of the fraud involves stealing your identity, filing a fake return on your behalf that shows a refund and then collecting that refund on your behalf.

This year Ars Technica is reporting that other phishing emails are on the rise right now.

  1. Remember that IRS uses snail mail, not email to get ahold of you
  2. Educate your employees on phishing, all the time
  3. You can protect your business from these types of scams using artificial intelligence phishing filters that are capable of catching these emails.

You can expect that these types of attacks will grow more common and more sophisticated as criminals continue to learn how to make more money off of… sending emails.

One of the newest ways to get past email defenses is getting the least amount of attention: the changing link. Here’s how it works:

The Bad Guy emails one of your employees an email “from” your CEO/President whatever with a link that looks something like https://www.dropbox.com/ImportantShare but it goes to http://bit.ly/325JnYX (feel free to click those links!). This link intentionally is a redirect: it will take users from one URL to another, it has common legitimate uses.

At first, http://bit.ly/325JnYX goes to a harmless site, maybe Google, and gets past your email defense filters as a result. However, a few minutes later the Bad Guy changes it to go to a site that they control that phishes, distributes malware, whatever technique that they want to use to get into your organization. When you user clicks the link, it now goes to the bad site.

What do you? These new Bad Guy techniques require new tools to defend your organization and your data, tools that are always up-to-date with real-time information and that don’t check things only once — like your current email defenses — but do so continually.

Fortunately, there are new defense tools available for SMBs. If you are interested in understanding the options feel free to set up an appointment with us, info@jmaddington.com or 865-240-2716

Managed Services can help prevent phishing fraud

A university just paid $12m to a fraudster. Prevention would have been easy. Read more