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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: email security

CISA Issues Emergency Directive on In-the-Wild Microsoft Exchange Flaws

CISA Issues Emergency Directive on In-the-Wild Microsoft Exchange Flaws

March 04, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Following Microsoft's release of out-of-band patches to address multiple zero-day flaws in on-premises versions of Microsoft Exchange Server, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has  issued  an emergency directive warning of " active exploitation " of the vulnerabilities. The alert comes on the heels of Microsoft's  disclosure  that China-based hackers were exploiting unknown software bugs in Exchange server to steal sensitive data from select targets, marking the second time in four months that the U.S. has scrambled to address a widespread hacking campaign believed to be the work of foreign threat actors. While the company mainly attributed the campaign to a threat group called HAFNIUM, Slovakian cybersecurity firm ESET  said  it found evidence of CVE-2021-26855 being actively exploited in the wild by several cyber espionage groups, including LuckyMouse, Tick, and Calypso targeting servers located in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the
How to Fight Business Email Compromise (BEC) with Email Authentication?

How to Fight Business Email Compromise (BEC) with Email Authentication?

February 22, 2021The Hacker News
An ever-evolving and rampant form of cybercrime that targets emails as the potential medium to conduct fraud is known as Business Email Compromise. Targeting commercial, government as well as non-profit organizations, BEC can lead to huge amounts of data loss, security breach, and compromised financial assets. It is a common misconception that cybercriminals usually lay their focus on MNCs and enterprise-level organizations. SMEs these days are just as much a target to email fraud as the larger industry players. How Can BEC Affect Organizations?  Examples of BEC include sophisticated social engineering attacks like phishing, CEO fraud, fake invoices, and email spoofing, to name a few. It can also be termed an impersonation attack wherein an attacker aims to defraud a company by posing people in authoritarian positions. Impersonating people like the CFO or CEO, a business partner, or anyone you will blindly place your trust in is what drives these attacks' success. February of
Enhancing Email Security with MTA-STS and SMTP TLS Reporting

Enhancing Email Security with MTA-STS and SMTP TLS Reporting

January 25, 2021The Hacker News
In 1982, when SMTP was first specified, it did not contain any mechanism for providing security at the transport level to secure communications between mail transfer agents. Later, in 1999, the STARTTLS command was added to SMTP that in turn supported the encryption of emails in between the servers, providing the ability to convert a non-secure connection into a secure one that is encrypted using TLS protocol. However, encryption is optional in SMTP, which implies that emails can be sent in plaintext.  Mail Transfer Agent-Strict Transport Security (MTA-STS)  is a relatively new standard that enables mail service providers the ability to enforce Transport Layer Security (TLS) to secure SMTP connections and to specify whether the sending SMTP servers should refuse to deliver emails to MX hosts that that does not offer TLS with a reliable server certificate. It has been proven to successfully mitigate TLS downgrade attacks and Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks. SMTP TLS Reporting (TLS-
How DMARC Can Stop Criminals Sending Fake Emails on Behalf of Your Domain

How DMARC Can Stop Criminals Sending Fake Emails on Behalf of Your Domain

December 07, 2020The Hacker News
21st-century technology has allowed Cybercriminals to use sophisticated and undetectable methods for malicious activities. In 2020 alone, a survey revealed that  65% of US-based companies were vulnerable to email phishing and impersonation attacks . This calls for upgrading your organization's security with DMARC, which if not implemented, will enable cyber-attackers to: Instigate money transfers from vulnerable employees via spoofed emails while impersonating senior executives in your company Send fake invoices to your employees and partners Deal in illegal goods via your domain  Spread Ransomware Impersonate customer support to steal confidential customer or partner information Such situations can have long-lasting consequences on your business. From inflicting a blow on thebrand's reputation and credibility among its partners and customer base to loss of valuable company information and millions of dollars, the risks are countless. What is Domain Spoofing? Domain
Critical OpenSMTPD Bug Opens Linux and OpenBSD Mail Servers to Hackers

Critical OpenSMTPD Bug Opens Linux and OpenBSD Mail Servers to Hackers

January 30, 2020Wang Wei
Cybersecurity researchers have discovered a new critical vulnerability ( CVE-2020-7247 ) in the OpenSMTPD email server that could allow remote attackers to take complete control over BSD and many Linux based servers. OpenSMTPD is an open-source implementation of the server-side SMTP protocol that was initially developed as part of the OpenBSD project but now comes pre-installed on many UNIX-based systems. According to Qualys Research Labs, who discovered this vulnerability, the issue resides in the OpenSMTPD's sender address validation function, called smtp_mailaddr(), which can be exploited to execute arbitrary shell commands with elevated root privileges on a vulnerable server just by sending specially crafted SMTP messages to it. The flaw affects OpenBSD version 6.6 and works against the default configuration for both, the locally enabled interface as well as remotely if the daemon has been enabled to listen on all interfaces and accepts external mail. "Exploit
BitDam Study Exposes High Miss Rates of Leading Email Security Systems

BitDam Study Exposes High Miss Rates of Leading Email Security Systems

January 21, 2020The Hacker News
Imagine receiving an email from US VP Mike Pence's official email account asking for help because he has been stranded in the Philippines. Actually, you don't have to. This actually happened. Pence's email was hacked when he was still the governor of Indiana, and his account was used to attempt to defraud several people. How did this happen? Is it similar to how the DNC server was hacked? Email hacking is one of the most widespread cyber threats at present. It is estimated that around 8 out of 10 people who use the internet have received some form of phishing attack through their emails. Additionally, according to Avanan's 2019 Global Phish Report , 1 in 99 emails is a phishing attack. BitDam is aware of how critical emails are in modern communication. BitDam published a new study on the email threat detection weaknesses of the leading players in email security, and the findings command attention. The research team discovered how Microsoft's Office365
14 Ways to Evade Botnet Malware Attacks On Your Computers

14 Ways to Evade Botnet Malware Attacks On Your Computers

December 18, 2019Wang Wei
Cybercriminals are busy innovators, adapting their weapons and attack strategies, and ruthlessly roaming the web in search of their next big score. Every manner of sensitive information, such as confidential employee records, customers' financial data, protected medical documents, and government files, are all subject to their relentless threats to cybersecurity . Solutions span a broad spectrum, from training email users to ensuring a VPN kill switch is in place, to adding extensive advanced layers of network protection. To successfully guard against severe threats from hackers, worm viruses to malware, such as botnet attacks, network managers need to use all tools and methods that fit well into a comprehensive cyber defense strategy. Of all the menaces mentioned above to a website owner's peace of mind, botnets arguably present the most unsettling form of security risk. They're not the mere achievements of malicious amateur cybercriminals. They're state
Phorpiex Botnet Sending Out Millions of Sextortion Emails Using Hacked Computers

Phorpiex Botnet Sending Out Millions of Sextortion Emails Using Hacked Computers

October 16, 2019Mohit Kumar
A decade-old botnet malware that currently controls over 450,000 computers worldwide has recently shifted its operations from infecting machines with ransomware or crypto miners to abusing them for sending out sextortion emails to millions of innocent people. Extortion by email is growing significantly, with a large number of users recently complaining about receiving sextortion emails that attempt to extort money from individuals by blackmailing them into exposing their sexual content. Though until now, it wasn't clear how scammers were sending such massive amounts of emails without getting blacklisted by the email providers, security researchers from CheckPoint finally found the missing block in this puzzle. In its latest report shared with The Hacker News prior to the release, Tel Aviv-based security firm CheckPoint reveals that a botnet, called Phorpiex , has recently been updated to include a spam bot designed to use compromised computers as proxies to send out over 3
How SMBs Can Mitigate the Growing Risk of File-based Attacks

How SMBs Can Mitigate the Growing Risk of File-based Attacks

October 02, 2019The Hacker News
Cases of document-based malware are steadily rising. 59 percent of all malicious files detected in the first quarter of 2019 were contained in documents. Due to how work is done in today's offices and workplaces, companies are among those commonly affected by file-based attacks. Since small to medium businesses (SMBs) usually lack the kind of security that protects their larger counterparts, they have a greater risk of being affected. Falling victim to file-based malware can cause enormous problems for SMBs. An attack can damage critical data stored in the organization's computers. Such loss can force a company to temporarily halt operations, resulting in financial losses. If a customer's private and financial information is compromised, the company may also face compliance inquiries and lawsuits. Their reputations could also take a hit, discouraging customers from doing business with them. But despite these risks, SMBs still invest very little in cybersecurity
New Critical Exim Flaw Exposes Email Servers to Remote Attacks — Patch Released

New Critical Exim Flaw Exposes Email Servers to Remote Attacks — Patch Released

September 30, 2019Swati Khandelwal
A critical security vulnerability has been discovered and fixed in the popular open-source Exim email server software, which could allow a remote attacker to simply crash or potentially execute malicious code on targeted servers. Exim maintainers today released an urgent security update— Exim version 4.92.3 —after publishing an early warning two days ago, giving system administrators an early head-up on its upcoming security patches that affect all versions of the email server software from 4.92 up to and including then-latest version 4.92.2. Exim is a widely used, open source mail transfer agent (MTA) developed for Unix-like operating systems like Linux, Mac OSX or Solaris, which runs almost 60 percent of the Internet's email servers today for routing, delivering and receiving email messages. This is the second time in this month when the Exim maintainers have released an urgent security update. Earlier this month, the team patched a critical remote code execution flaw (
Over Dozen Popular Email Clients Found Vulnerable to Signature Spoofing Attacks

Over Dozen Popular Email Clients Found Vulnerable to Signature Spoofing Attacks

April 30, 2019Swati Khandelwal
A team of security researchers has discovered several vulnerabilities in various implementations of OpenPGP and S/MIME email signature verification that could allow attackers to spoof signatures on over a dozen of popular email clients. The affected email clients include Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail with GPGTools, iOS Mail, GpgOL, KMail, Evolution, MailMate, Airmail, K-9 Mail, Roundcube and Mailpile. When you send a digitally signed email, it offers end-to-end authenticity and integrity of messages, ensuring recipients that the email has actually come from you. However, researchers tested 25 widely-used email clients for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android and Web and found that at least 14 of them were vulnerable to multiple types of practical attacks under five below-mentioned categories, making spoofed signatures indistinguishable from a valid one even by an attentive user. The research was conducted by a team of researchers from Ruhr University Bochum and
Facebook Collected Contacts from 1.5 Million Email Accounts Without Users' Permission

Facebook Collected Contacts from 1.5 Million Email Accounts Without Users' Permission

April 18, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Not a week goes without a new Facebook blunder. Remember the most recent revelation of Facebook being caught asking users new to the social network platform for their email account passwords to verify their identity? At the time, it was suspected that Facebook might be using access to users' email accounts to unauthorizedly and secretly gather a copy of their saved contacts. Now it turns out that the collection of email contacts was true, Facebook finally admits. In a statement released on Wednesday, Facebook said the social media company "unintentionally" uploaded email contacts from up to 1.5 million new users on its servers, without their consent or knowledge, since May 2016. In other words, nearly 1.5 million users had shared passwords for their email accounts with Facebook as part of its dubious verification process. A Facebook spokesperson shared information with Business Insider that the company was using harvested data to "build Facebook'
Hackers Compromise Microsoft Support Agent to Access Outlook Email Accounts

Hackers Compromise Microsoft Support Agent to Access Outlook Email Accounts

April 13, 2019Swati Khandelwal
If you have an account with Microsoft Outlook email service, there is a possibility that your account information has been compromised by an unknown hacker or group of hackers, Microsoft confirmed The Hacker News. Earlier this year, hackers managed to breach Microsoft's customer support portal and access information related to some email accounts registered with the company's Outlook service. Yesterday, a user on Reddit publicly posted a screenshot of an email which he received from Microsoft warning that unknown attackers were able to access some information of his OutLook account between 1 January 2019 and 28 March 2019. Another user on Reddit also confirmed that he/she too received the same email from Microsoft. According to the incident notification email, as shown below, attackers were able to compromise credentials for one of Microsoft's customer support agents and used it to unauthorisedly access some information related to the affected accounts, but not
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