South Africa experienced the single longest-running cyber attack campaign of any country during a period monitored by Mimecast Limited, a leading email and data security company.
It revealed this finding in its quarterly Threat Intelligence Report: Risk and Resilience Insights, which provided technical analysis from the Mimecast Threat Centre from July -September 2019 on the nature of attack campaigns, in addition to observations and analysis of evolving threats. Outlining the trends emerging from these identified attacks and assessing the current behaviour of threat actors can help organisations better understand the impact these factors will have on the cybersecurity landscape in 2020.
The Mimecast Threat Intelligence Report includes analysis of 207 billion emails processed, 99 billion of which were rejected. The goal of the report is to keep organisations informed on the threats that are targeting their industries, so they can better prepare for, and protect themselves against threats inside, at and beyond the perimeter. This research looks through the lens of the four main categories of attack types discovered in the quarter: spam, impersonation, opportunistic, and targeted.
This quarter’s report found that impersonation attacks are on this rise, accounting for 26% of total detections – and now includes voice phishing or “vishing,” an advanced attack observed in this quarter, where threat actors use social engineering to gain access to personal and financial information via the victim’s telephone system.
South Africa experienced the single longest-running campaign – an attack on several financial services systems in July – of any region under review. An unknown threat actor or advanced criminal group utilised ZIP, RAR and HTML files containing generic Trojans over an eight-day period encompassing more than 116 000 detections. Four major campaigns were detected in South Africa between July and September, of which the financial services sector suffered the brunt of the impact.
While the report uncovered a mixture of simple, low effort and low-cost attacks targeting Mimecast customers, the data also highlights complex, targeted campaigns leveraging a variety of vectors and lasting several days. These sophisticated attacks are likely carried out by organised and determined threat actors, employing obfuscation, layering, exploits, and encryption to evade detection. Additionally, throughout the research, it was clear three industries were targeted the most by cyberattacks. Banking and legal, industries that are rich with sensitive information that yield results for threat actors and transportation, where state-sponsored threat actors seek to disrupt the logistical and supply capability of rivals.
“Threat actors seek numerous ways into an organisation – from using sophisticated tactics, like voice phishing and domain spoofing, to simple attacks like spam,” said Josh Douglas, vice president of threat intelligence at Mimecast. “This quarter’s research found that the majority of threats were simple, sheer volume attacks. Easy to execute, but not as easy to protect against as it shines a very bright light on the role human error could play in an organisation’s vulnerability.
“Organisations need to take a pervasive approach to email security – one that integrates the right security tools allowing for greater visibility at, in and beyond the perimeter. This approach also requires educating the last line of defence – employees. Coupling technology with a force of well-trained human eyes will help organisations strengthen their security postures to defend against both simple and sophisticated threats.”
Of the 207 billion emails processed, there were 25 significant malware campaigns identified this quarter which incorporated Azorult, Hawkeye, Nanocore, Netwired, Lokibot, Locky and Remcos. The campaigns observed range from simple phishing campaigns to multi-vector campaigns alternating file types and attack vector, types of malware and vulnerabilities.
Nanobot, Loki and Remcos were the most significant threats deployed against financial services in South Africa; they were utilised in concert with a range of generic Trojans. All the analysis discovered in the report is fed back into Mimecast engineering to enhance cloud-based security services, improving customer’s cyber resilience and helping them avoid disruptions to their business.
Additional key findings outlined in the report –
- The majority of attacks are less sophisticated, high volume attacks – due to the ease of access for any individual to launch an attack and employees still clicking on malicious links
- ZIP files accounted for 34% of file compression format attacks – consistently the most detected format due to reliance on human error
- Researchers detected a complex range of malware, some of which has been around for many years, in addition to new threats. Malware threats are increasingly automated.
- Top sectors targeted this quarter: transportation, storage and delivery, banking and legal
For the full Threat Intelligence Report, visit here.
GoFundMe hits R9bn in donations for people and causes
The world’s largest social fundraising platform has announced that Its community has made more than 120-million donations
GoFundMe this week released its annual Year in Giving report, revealing that its community has donated more than 120-million times, raising over $9-billion for people, causes, and organisations since the company’s founding in 2010.
In a letter to the GoFundMe community, CEO Rob Solomon emphasised how GoFundMe witnesses not only the good in people worldwide, but their generosity and their action every day.
“As we enter a new decade, GoFundMe is committed to spreading compassion and empathy through our platform,” said Solomon in the letter. “Together, we can bring more good into the world and unlock the power of global giving.”
The GoFundMe giving community continues to grow with both repeat donors and new donors. In fact, nearly 60% of donors were new this year. After someone makes a donation, they continue to engage with the community and give to multiple causes. In fact, one passionate individual donated 293 times to 234 different fundraisers in this past year alone. Donations are made every second, ranging from $5 to $50,000. This year, more than 40% of donations were under $50.
GoFundMe continues to be a mirror of current events across the globe. This year, young changemakers started the Fridays for Futuremovement to fight climate change, which led to a 60% increase in fundraiser descriptions mentioning ‘climate change’. Additionally, the community rallied together to support one another during natural disasters like Hurricane Dorian and the California wildfires, where thousands of fundraisers were started to help those in need.
The report includes a snapshot of giving trends from the year based on global GoFundMe data. It also includes company milestones from 2019, such as launching the company’s non-profit and advocacy arm, GoFundMe.org, and introducing GoFundMe Charity, which provides enterprise software with no subscription fees or contracts to charities of every size.
Highlights from GoFundMe’s 2019 Year in Giving report include:
- Global giving trends and data
- Top 10 most generous countries
- Top 10 most generous U.S. states and cities
- Biggest moments in 2019
To view the entire report, visit: www.gofundme.com/2019
For users, in-car touchscreens ever more useless
As touchscreens become more commonplace, the gulf of perceived differences in the performance of these features between cars and other devices (such as mobile and in-home) has become wider. A new report from the In-Vehicle UX (IVX) group at Strategy Analytics has investigated car owners’ satisfaction with their on-board touchscreens. Long hamstrung by poor UX and extended production cycles, in-car touchscreens are seen by car users and buyers as lagging behind the experience offered by touchscreens outside the car. As such, consumer satisfaction has continued to slide in China and Europe, while reaching historic lows in the US.
Surveying consumers in the US, Western Europe, and China via web-survey, key report findings include:
- Difficult text entry and excessive fingerprint smudging are common complaints among all car owners.
- Because touchscreens have reached market saturation in the US, satisfaction with in-car screens has tailed off significantly.
- However, touchscreens remain a relatively newer phenomenon in many car models in Western Europe (compared with the US) and thus their limitations are less prominent in the minds of car owners.
- Overall touchscreen satisfaction fell for the fifth straight year in China, indicating a growing impatience for in-car UX to match UX found elsewhere in the consumer electronics space.
Derek Viita, Senior Analyst and report author, says, “Part of the issue with fingerprint smudging is the angle at which in-car touchscreens are installed – they make every fingerprint increasingly visible.
“Fingerprint smudging is an issue across all touchscreen-based consumer electronics. But in most form factors and especially mobile devices, consumers can quite easily adjust their viewing angle. This is not always the case with fixed in-car screens.”
Says Chris Schreiner, Director, Syndicated Research UXIP, “Although hardware quality certainly figures in many of the usual complaints car owners have about their screens, it is not the sole factor. Cockpit layout and UI design can play important roles in mitigating some issues with in-car touchscreens.”