Email may be the most common vector used in phishing attacks, but there has been a marked rise in other forms of phishing in 2022, such as voice phishing (vishing) and SMS phishing (smishing).
Voice phishing or vishing attacks are conducted over the telephone and use similar social engineering techniques to email phishing. The scammer impersonates a trusted individual or company and uses either a threat or a potential reward to trick the victim into disclosing sensitive information, downloading a malicious file, or opening a remote desktop session with the scammer. These scams often involve caller ID spoofing to make it appear that the call is being made from a legitimate number, such as a hospital, business, or government department.
Oftentimes, the scammer has information about the victim to make it seem like an official call or that there has been previous contact. This information is obtained from past data breaches or can be collected from public sources such as social media profiles. Vishing is commonly used in tech support scams, where an unsolicited call is made by the threat actor who claims to work at a cybersecurity company or a broadband provider and requires the victim to pay to have a fictitious malware infection resolved or must download fake software to resolve the issue.
Vishing attacks are conducted impersonating the IRS advising the victim that they have a rebate, or outstanding tax, or threatening legal action, with the scams conducted to obtain sensitive information. Banks are often impersonated with the victim convinced to confirm their identity by disclosing their bank details or credit card number. The caller is usually coercive and the issue at hand requires urgent action to correct.
Several campaigns have been conducted on healthcare targets in the US. In one campaign, senior executives at a hospital were targeted, with the caller claiming to be a representative of Medicare. The caller requested a Social Security number for verification of identity. Patients of Spectrum Health and Priority Health were targeted, with the scammers spoofing the caller ID to make the calls appear to have been made using the genuine hospital phone number, with victims pressured into providing sensitive personal and health information to the scammers.
A smishing attack is a phishing attack conducted via SMS messages. These attacks are becoming increasingly common and are used to obtain sensitive information such as credit card numbers or login credentials. These attacks often trick the recipient into downloading malicious code to their mobile devices. These attacks take advantage of the relative unfamiliarity of this form of phishing and the small screen size of mobile phones, which do not display the full URL of a website, which makes it easier for scammers to hide their malicious URLs. Mobile phones are also much less likely to have antivirus software installed than desktop computers and laptops, which makes it easier for malicious code to be downloaded undetected.
Smishing attacks often involve messages purporting to be from a bank that requests financial information, or for banking Trojans to be distributed that spoof the login page of a financial institution to steal banking credentials. The IRS has recently issued a warning about an exponential rise in smishing attacks impersonating the IRS in 2022. These scams use a variety of lures such as warnings about unpaid tax bills, law enforcement action, and tax rebates. The IRS warned that smishing attacks are being conducted on an industrial scale, with hundreds of thousands of smishing messages delivered in hours or a few days.
How to Defend Against Vishing and Smishing Attacks
The problem for businesses is few cybersecurity solutions can identify and block vishing and smishing attacks. The key to defending against these attacks is education. Businesses should be providing security awareness training to the workforce to teach cybersecurity best practices and to raise awareness of cyber threats. Email phishing is usually extensively covered in training courses, but it is also important to ensure vishing and smishing attacks are covered.
This is an area where TitanHQ can help. TitanHQ offers businesses the SafeTitan security awareness training platform – a comprehensive security awareness training platform with gamified, interactive, and enjoyable security awareness training content covering all aspects of security, including phishing, vishing, smishing, and other social engineering methods. The training modules are short, allowing them to be easily fitted into busy workflows, and the training content has been proven to reduce susceptibility to all forms of phishing attacks. SafeTitan also includes a phishing simulation platform to allow businesses to test the effectiveness of their training.
For more information on how you can improve your human defenses against phishing and other cyberattacks, contact the TitanHQ team today.
TitanHQ is proud to announce that the company has been recognized in the Fall 2022 Expert Insights ‘Best-Of’ awards, and collected five awards for email security, email archiving, web security, phishing simulation, and security awareness training.
The Expert Insights ‘Best-Of’ awards recognize the leading cybersecurity solutions that businesses are using to keep their networks and sensitive data secure. Selecting the best software solutions to use can be a challenge for businesses. Expert Insights makes that process easier by providing objective and honest reviews and advice, producing buyers’ guides, and other valuable information to help businesses choose the best software solutions to meet their needs. Each month, more than 85,000 businesses use the Expert Insights website, with the site having more than 1 million visitors a year.
The Fall 2022 Best-Of awards were split into 41 categories. The Expert Insights editorial team researched to identify the best cybersecurity solutions on the market for inclusion in each category, which contain up to 11 software solutions. Those solutions are selected based on several criteria, such as the feature set of the products, their ease of use, market presence of the company, and how genuine business users of the solutions rate the products. There naturally needs to be a winner in each category, but simply being included in the list confirms the quality of a product.
TitanHQ collected 5 Best-Of awards in the following categories:
Best-Of Email Security – SpamTitan
Best-Of Security Awareness Training – SafeTitan
Best-Of Phishing Simulation – SafeTitan
Best-Of Web Security – WebTitan
Best-Of Email Archiving – ArcTitan
In addition, SpamTitan was rated as the top email security solution in the category and ArcTitan was rated top in the email archiving category. Vendors ESET and CrowdStrike also performed exceptionally well and picked up multiple awards.
“We are honored that TitanHQ was named as a Fall 2022 winner of Expert Insights Best-Of award for phishing simulation, email security, security awareness training, web security and email archiving” said TitanHQ CEO, Ronan Kavanagh. “Our cloud-based platform allows partners and MSPs to take advantage of TitanHQ’s proven technology so they can sell, implement and deliver our advanced network security solutions directly to their client base”.
TitanHQ has announced the release of a new version of the WebTitan DNS filtering solution that incorporates several new features to improve usability, functionality, and security, including advanced off-network DNS protection for remote workers.
WebTitan is an award-winning DNS-based web filtering solution used by thousands of SMBs, enterprises, and managed service providers for exercising control over the web content users can access via wired and wireless networks and for blocking web-borne cyber threats. The latest release adds new features that have been requested by customers.
The new additions in the latest WebTitan release are: Interactive threat intelligence with DNS data offload, remote workforce protection: OTG device exceptions, and DNSSEC security enhancements. A new user interface has also been implemented to improve usability, with several new advanced reporting capabilities that have been requested by managed service providers.
Interactive Threat Intel with DNS Data Offload
For many users, WebTitan is a set-and-forget solution. The solution is easy to set up and configure to restrict access to inappropriate web content and block access to known malicious websites. For restaurants, coffee shops, and retail outlets that offer free Wi-Fi to their customers, these controls can be set and forgotten about. However, many users require access to extensive reports and intelligence to allow them to conduct investigations into the threats that are targeting the organization. WebTitan provides those insights.
The latest version gives users the ability to list the DNS request history and download logs for analysis, access all DNS data, and extract DNS query data for sophisticated integrations and advanced data analysis, which will help with network troubleshooting, security planning, and IT decision-making.
New User Interface with Advanced Reporting
The WebTitan User Interface was designed to be intuitive and easy to use, to allow individuals with all skill levels to navigate through the features of the solution, set their content control policies, add blacklists, and view reports of web activity, including viewing real-time reports of Internet access down to the individual user level.
The latest version includes a new UI that provides access to advanced, relevant, and easy-to-digest data, and features a suite of new, interactive reports and data visualization tools. The latest reports show new behavior, blocked URLs, security reports, and trend reports, which have been embedded into the new UI to greatly improve the user experience. Many of the new reports were added to the solution at the request of users.
Remote Workforce Protection
WebTitan can be used to protect employees accessing the Internet on wired networks, but many businesses need to protect remote workers. During the pandemic, it became even more important to be able to protect remote workers who were accessing the Internet through their home routers, and many businesses now support hybrid working, where employees may access the internet at home, in the office, or through public Wi-Fi hotspots. WebTitan On-The-Go (OTG) allows organizations to extend the protection of WebTitan to remote workers through the WebTitan OTG agent, which protects devices no matter where they access the Internet.
The latest release sees major enhancements to the WebTitan OTG agent which is used to protect, manage, and monitor users when off the network. The latest release includes a replacement for the JSON config filters for OTG devices and makes it much easier to add and update exceptions to OTG devices through a simple and easy-to-use user interface.
DNSSEC Security Enhancements
The DNS was designed to be a scalable distributed system but did not incorporate any security features. The Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) is a security system that was developed to add security and combat some of the threats that target the DNS. DNSSEC is used to verify the origin and integrity of data during the DNS resolution process and involves using cryptographic signatures for authentication. DNSSC is the primary way to prevent DNS poisoning attacks, where attackers target the DNS to redirect users to fake web servers and malicious websites. Security enhancements have been made to better protect users and allow DNSSEC to be easily implemented by users.
“This WebTitan release is hitting so many key pillars of success for TitanHQ. The data offload feature has been requested by many customers and creates real differentiation for our solution in the market. This coupled with our new advanced reporting were major requests from our MSP customers,” said Ronan Kavanagh, CEO, TitanHQ. “Finally, security is at the heart of what we do and are, the addition of DNSSEC just continues to add to our credentials.”