When you look at your emails, check them twice. Beware of fake Christmas greetings, fraudulent employee termination notices, and phony coronavirus exposure warnings. Understanding the nature of these threats can help you and your employees stay on the lookout, and have a happier holiday season.
Christmas phishing chaos
A new phishing campaign is sending fraudulent termination notices to victims. These emails are intended to shock, and to provoke individuals into opening and downloading malicious content.
In one instance, an individual opened a file, which popped up with blurred content. A button encouraged clicking on the content. Once clicked on, the file ran an automated script that introduced malicious code onto the system and a phrase read “Merry X-Mas Dear Employees!” Other similar emails have contained incendiary language coupled with benign Christmas expressions.
Cyber security researchers contend that these phishing attempts appear to emanate from an affiliate tied to Dridex; a type of malware.
New coronavirus phishing campaign
Cyber security researchers investigated a separate Dridex-laced email containing the subjectline “Positive OMICRON results”. Ostensibly, the email recipient had been exposed to the coronavirus through a coworker, who also purportedly tested positive for the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
“All the information you can find in the attachment,” read the email, which included a password for file access. In addition to the mangled language, another phishing clue consisted of a pop-up message displaying information about a supposed coronavirus funeral assistance line.
Dridex malware is a banking malware that was originally designed to steal online banking credentials. Over time, developers continued to work on the malware. It can now engage in more sophisticated and harmful malicious activities than previously. The malware itself was created by the hacking group known as Evil Corp, which is responsible for a series of well-known ransomware operations. Once Dridex establishes itself on a system, it can install malware, steal credentials and culminate in ransomware attacks.
Holiday product scams
In the few remaining days of 2021, companies and consumers alike should not only remain on high-alert regarding the aforementioned scams, but should also recognize the prevalence of product-related scams. That email related to a postal service delay? Check to see whether or not the details genuinely correspond with a package that you have either sent or expect to receive. Supply chain disruptions earlier in the year provide cover for hackers who message groups or individuals about shipping delays.
Awareness around scams is one of the best ways to avoid them. Provide your employees, colleagues, peers, pals and family members with education and information regarding cyber scams. After all, you might save your company or contacts from serious holiday havoc.
Lastly, to learn more about managing cyber risk in a rapidly changing world, please join us at the premiere cyber security event of the year – CPX 360 2022. Register here.