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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: email security

How Does DMARC Prevent Phishing?

How Does DMARC Prevent Phishing?

September 27, 2021The Hacker News
DMARC  is a global standard for email authentication. It allows senders to verify that the email really comes from whom it claims to come from. This helps curb spam and phishing attacks, which are among the most prevalent cybercrimes of today. Gmail, Yahoo, and many other large email providers have implemented DMARC and praised its benefits in recent years. If your company's domain name is bankofamerica.com, you do not want a cyber attacker to be able to send emails under that domain. This puts your brand reputation at risk and could potentially spread financial malware. The DMARC standard prevents this by checking whether emails are sent from an expected IP address or domain. It specifies how domains can be contacted if there are authentication or migration issues and provides forensic information so senders can monitor email traffic and quarantine suspicious emails. What is a Phishing Attack? Phishing is an attempt by cybercriminals to trick victims into giving away sensitive
How Does MTA-STS Improve Your Email Security?

How Does MTA-STS Improve Your Email Security?

August 30, 2021The Hacker News
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol or SMTP has easily exploitable security loopholes. Email routing protocols were designed in a time when cryptographic technology was at a nascent stage (e.g., the de-facto protocol for email transfer, SMTP, is nearly 40 years old now), and therefore security was not an important consideration.  As a result, in most email systems encryption is still opportunistic, which implies that if the opposite connection does not support TLS, it gets rolled back to an unencrypted one delivering messages in plaintext.  To mitigate SMTP security problems,  MTA-STS  (Mail Transfer Agent Strict Transport Security) is the recommended email authentication standard. It enforces TLS in order to allow MTAs to send emails securely. This means that it will only allow mail from MTAs that support TLS encryption, and it will only allow mail to go to MX hosts that support TLS encryption. In case an encrypted connection cannot be negotiated between communicating SMTP servers, the
Dozens of STARTTLS Related Flaws Found Affecting Popular Email Clients

Dozens of STARTTLS Related Flaws Found Affecting Popular Email Clients

August 16, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Security researchers have disclosed as many as 40 different vulnerabilities associated with an opportunistic encryption mechanism in mail clients and servers that could open the door to targeted man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks, permitting an intruder to forge mailbox content and steal credentials. The now-patched flaws, identified in various STARTTLS implementations, were  detailed  by a group of researchers Damian Poddebniak, Fabian Ising, Hanno Böck, and Sebastian Schinzel at the 30th USENIX Security Symposium. In an Internet-wide scan conducted during the study, 320,000 email servers were found vulnerable to what's called a command injection attack. Some of the popular clients affected by the bugs include Apple Mail, Gmail, Mozilla Thunderbird, Claws Mail, Mutt, Evolution, Exim, Mail.ru, Samsung Email, Yandex, and KMail. The attacks require that the malicious party can tamper connections established between an email client and the email server of a provider and has login cr
BIMI: A Visual Take on Email Authentication and Security

BIMI: A Visual Take on Email Authentication and Security

July 26, 2021The Hacker News
There is a saying that goes something like, "Do not judge a book by its cover." Yet, we all know we can not help but do just that - especially when it comes to online security. Logos play a significant role in whether or not we open an email and how we assess the importance of each message. Brand Indicators for Message Identification, or BIMI, aims to make it easier for us to quickly identify important information within emails using branding guidelines and visual cues found in logos.  In recent years, users are often unsure about the authenticity of emails, and this has become a major issue for businesses fighting spam. BIMI gives email users access to information about a brand's identity. A company has complete control and freedom over what logo to attach to authenticated emails. Overall, BIMI acts as an additional layer of security to the existing email authentication process. What is BIMI, and how does it strengthen the security of your emails?  BIMI is a standa
DMARC: The First Line of Defense Against Ransomware

DMARC: The First Line of Defense Against Ransomware

June 28, 2021The Hacker News
There has been a lot of buzz in the industry about ransomware lately. Almost every other day, it's making headlines. With businesses across the globe holding their breath, scared they might fall victim to the next major ransomware attack, it is now time to take action. The FBI IC3 report of 2020 classified Ransomware as the most financially damaging cybercrime of the year, with no major improvement in 2021. Wouldn't it be nice if you could prevent a ransomware attack from occurring in the first place?  DMARC  can make this seemingly impossible claim a possibility for domain owners!  Multiple benefits arise from your DMARC implementation over time, including an increase in the deliverability of your email as well as a higher domain reputation. DMARC is also known as the first line of defense against Ransomware. Let's take a closer look. What are the Risks Associated with Ransomware?  Ransomware is malicious software that installs itself on your computer without your p
Can Your Business Email Be Spoofed? Check Your Domain Security Now!

Can Your Business Email Be Spoofed? Check Your Domain Security Now!

May 31, 2021The Hacker News
Are you aware of how secure your domain is? In most organizations, there is an assumption that their domains are secure and within a few months, but the truth soon dawns on them that it isn't. Spotting someone spoofing your domain name is one way to determine if your security is unsatisfactory - this means that someone is impersonating you (or confusing some of your recipients) and releasing false information. You may ask, "But why should I care?" Because these spoofing activities can potentially endanger your reputation. With so many companies being targeted by domain impersonators, email domain spoofing shouldn't be taken lightly. By doing so, they could put themselves, as well as their clients, at risk.  Your domain's security rating can make a huge difference in whether or not you get targeted by phishers looking to make money quickly or to use your domain and brand to spread ransomware without you knowing it! Check your domain's security rating with
ALERT — New 21Nails Exim Bugs Expose Millions of Email Servers to Hacking

ALERT — New 21Nails Exim Bugs Expose Millions of Email Servers to Hacking

May 05, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
The maintainers of Exim have  released patches  to remediate as many as 21 security vulnerabilities in its software that could enable unauthenticated attackers to achieve complete remote code execution and gain root privileges. Collectively named  '21Nails ,' the flaws include 11 vulnerabilities that require local access to the server and 10 other weaknesses that could be exploited remotely. The issues were discovered by Qualys and reported to Exim on Oct. 20, 2020. "Some of the vulnerabilities can be chained together to obtain a full remote unauthenticated code execution and gain root privileges on the Exim Server," Bharat Jogi, senior manager at Qualys, said in a public disclosure. "Most of the vulnerabilities discovered by the Qualys Research Team for e.g. CVE-2020-28017 affects all versions of Exim going back all the way to 2004." Exim is a popular mail transfer agent (MTA) used on Unix-like operating systems, with over 60% of the publicly reachable
How to Test and Improve Your Domain's Email Security?

How to Test and Improve Your Domain's Email Security?

April 26, 2021The Hacker News
No matter which type of business you are in, whether small, medium, or large, email has become an irrefutable tool for communicating with your employees, partners, and customers. Emails are sent and received each day in bulk by companies from various sources. In addition, organizations may also employ third-party vendors who may be authorized to send emails on behalf of the company. As a result, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between sources that are legitimate and malicious. Here's a solution – PowerDMARC. This SaaS platform helps you assess your  email authentication  protocols from time to time and see if your domain is secure against spoofing with a DMARC record checker, so you can make changes if necessary. Check Your Domain Today!  Use our free tool to examine your domain's DMARC, SPF, DKIM, BIMI, and MTA-STS records instantly to ensure your domain is protected from impersonation and email fraud! Importance of Having Robust Email Security in 2021 S
How to Effectively Prevent Email Spoofing Attacks in 2021?

How to Effectively Prevent Email Spoofing Attacks in 2021?

March 29, 2021The Hacker News
Email spoofing is a growing problem for an organization's security. Spoofing occurs when a hacker sends an email that appears to have been sent from a trusted source/domain. Email spoofing is not a new concept. Defined as "the forgery of an email address header to make the message appear as if it was sent from a person or location other than the actual sender," it has plagued brands for decades.  When an email is sent, the From address doesn't show which server the email was actually sent from - instead, it shows the domain that was entered when the address was created so as not to arouse suspicion among recipients. With the amount of data flowing through email servers these days, it should come as no surprise that spoofing is a problem for businesses. At the end of 2020, we found that phishing incidents were up a staggering 220% year-over-year at the height of the global pandemic scare. Since not all spoofing attacks are large-scale, the actual number could be muc
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
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