Authentic8 Blog Author: Guest Contributor

Authentic8 welcomes suggestions and submissions from guest contributors. Blog posts should be relevant, non-promotional and add valuable and actionable insights for improving IT security on the web.

Supply Chain Attacks: Shipping the Exploits

Illustration: Supply Chain Attacks: Shipping the Exploits - Authentic8 Blog

Malware inserted along the business supply chain can be far more effective than directly compromising a single company’s network. Local browsers, used by vendors and customers alike, open the door for attackers.

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What do banks and airlines, law firms and software makers, shipping companies and concert ticket sellers all have in common? Their day-to-day business depends on tightly integrated networks of service providers and product vendors.

Without functioning IT, most of these supply chains would break down. Network breaches can - and with increasing frequency do - result in significant damages.

A different kind of box office hit

Two recent incidents illustrate the broad spectrum and impact of web-borne third-party risks. Vendor vulnerabilities pose a growing threat not only to digital commerce but also to traditional sectors, such as the global shipping and logistics industry.

  • The first example, from June, involved online box office Ticketmaster. The incident highlights the vulnerability of the digital economy to exploits introduced into the software supply

How to Prevent Browser “Cryptojacking”

Illustration: How to Prevent Browser “Cryptojacking” - Authentic8 Blog

If you thought your “secure” browser is blocking all these cryptojacking attempts (perhaps you even installed a cryptoblocker extension), think again. Cryptominers are using other people’s browsers to make bank while getting better at evading detection. What have they been up to recently?

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For readers of this blog who don’t already know, cryptojacking is the process in which a machine’s resources are hijacked and used to mine cryptocurrency. This type of attack can take place in various ways, usually involving the local browser and JavaScript. For more details, check out our “Cryptojacking 101” here.

Lately, cryptojackers have found more ways to hog their victims’ computing resources. Chrome browser extensions offered through the Chrome Web Store were discovered to contain mining code. Ubuntu’s own Snap Store has been supplying software with “miners” built in.

One-two punch: ransomware+cryptojacking

Even garden-variety malware now usually comes equipped with miners. A new variant of the Rakhni ransomware now contains a cryptocurrency miner.

How the PageUp Hack is Highlighting HR's Data Protection Problems

Illustration: How the PageUp Hack is Highlighting HR's Data Protection Problems - Authentic8 Blog

The recent data breach at global Human Resources services provider PageUp may have impacted millions of job seekers, the firm announced last week. Following such incidents that affect HR records, it’s often IT that gets the blame. Are HR firms and departments generally too lax at handling confidential data?

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HR professionals have been found to be especially vulnerable to cyberattacks or user error. HR data breaches have severe consequences for individual employees and the whole organization. In 2015, confidental information of more than 22 million current and former federal employees and contractors was stolen when state-sponsored hackers hit the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the U.S. government’s HR department.

Since then, employees have started suing their employers over other incidents, as in the case of an HR data breach at Seagate, and more law firms are lining up to take their cases. Lamps Plus was slapped with a class action in California federal court, accusing it of failing to

Rogue WiFi Access Points: Would You Know the Difference?

Illustration: Rogue WiFi Access Points: Would You Know the Difference? - Authentic8 Blog

When traveling, at trade shows or when visiting a client or customer, a wireless access point (AP) can offer the most direct way to connect to the web. And the most dangerous, too.

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Beware “rogue” access points (RAPs). They’re out there ready to get you when you expect it least.

Rogue access points pop up on your device’s network menu with labels that look like what you’d expect to see when trying to gain access to a system in a public or semi-public space.

They pop up in coffee shops, hotel lobbies and hallways, on trade show floors, commuter trains or at airports. The network label at Reagan National Airport in Washington DC, for example, reads FlyReagan. But someone may have set up a RAP labeled FlyReagan or FlyDCA for their own (read: dark) purposes.

RAPs vs. APs: Would you know the difference?

Have you ever been pwned by a rogue AP? Most victims wouldn’t be able to

Hoodwinked: Why Our Eyes Won't Protect Us Against Phishing and Fake Websites

Illustration: Hoodwinked: Why Our Eyes Won't Protect Us Against Phishing and Fake Websites - Authentic8 Blog

By Benjamin Dynkin & Barry Dynkin

Our eyes were the gatekeepers between fact and fiction, reality and myth - then the internet came along. The visual information we encounter and interact with on the web is digitally created and manipulated - and we’re not ready for it.

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Web pages and individual visual elements can be easily replicated, and their impact on users tracked and measured. The problem with that is that scammers take advantage of it, while we still trust our eyes. This trust can now easily be turned against us.

In the domain of email-based fraud, perpetrators have evolved beyond broad, “Nigerian Prince”-esque campaigns. No longer are they limited to crude schemes that are easily detected.

Instead, they are using sophisticated, targeted campaigns that combine social engineering with visual deception and manipulation. The goal is to generate sensory overload and trick individuals into divulging critical information, such as usernames and passwords, or to overcome their resistance with psychological pressure