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Spear Phishing’s New Trend Targeting Whole Websites

Websense the security company says that personalized spear-phishing assaults not only target single persons but whole Internet sites, which behave like "watering holes" when cyber-criminal syndicates want so while focusing on any particular theme.

According to Security Research Manager Chris Astacio of Websense, spear-phishing typically refers to targeted assaults through malware-laced e-mails with the purpose of compromising an individual's PC for theft alternatively spying on vital information of the victim. However, recently it's been found that spear-phishing associates with aiming attack on whole websites so all people accessing those sites can be cracked and their PCs compromised, explains Astacio. PCAdvisor published this dated October 9, 2012.

Astacio further explains that during "watering-hole" assaults, cyber-criminals look for hijacking a website for determining the nature of its visitors followed with installing malicious content on it for attacking those visitors. And with regards to the attackers themselves, according to Astacio, they hang around patiently, monitoring the visitors' activities for the formers subsequent course of action.

The security expert also states that those carrying out watering-hole assaults are chanced with targeting nation-states given there have been instances of such perpetrators targeting government as well as other high-profile sites previously. Scmagazine.com published this dated October 9, 2012.

Actually the attackers decide their operations based on what exactly a targeted website does. The idea may be simply that they want to garner information about the victimized user or wish for exfiltrating information for its subsequent sale within illicit markets.

Notably, during September 2012, security investigators at Symantec discovered watering-hole techniques that got utilized for contaminating PCs of high-profile American defense contractors. The perpetrators abused weaknesses in supply chain for filching data from government organizations and contractors as also had association with Google targeted Aurora assaults of 2010.

Moreover, Websense, during May 2012, found that malware was inserted into Israel's 'Institute for National Security Studies.' Further, during the same period, UK's Amnesty International site was hijacked for delivering Gh0st Remote Access Tool.

However, for averting spear-phishing, Director Patrik Runald of Websense's Security Labs suggests incoming e-mail sandboxing, real-time Internet-traffic analysis in addition to spreading awareness. Infosecurity-magazine.com published this dated October 9, 2012.

Related article: Spyware Detection Programs Track Advertisers’ Cookies

» SPAMfighter News - 17-10-2012

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