ICAHN Information Technology Blog
Scammers are seeking to obtain personal information by impersonating Canadian hospital staff over the phone, NEWS 1130 reports. Vancouver Coastal Health issued an alert in which the healthcare provider warned people not to give out their personal information if they receive an unsolicited phone call from someone claiming to work for a hospital. The organization said the scammers may be spoofing the phone numbers of local hospitals, so people shouldn’t trust what appears on caller ID.
How can you tell if an email is safe? Even if you catch red flags in an email, such as typos or poor grammar, an urgent demeanor, or even a spoofed domain, how can you truly decipher the safety of an email? An immediate step you can take is to watch out for more of the most critical tell-tale signs of a phishing email - a mismatched or fake URL. Hovering not only allows you a moment to think before proceeding, it allows you the opportunity to see where a link is going to redirect you. This is especially important because not all links lead to where they appear, or insinuate they'll go.
When you hover, check for the following to ensure you're staying safe and secure:
- If the email appears to be coming from a company, does the hover link match the website of the sender?
- Does link have a misspelling of a well-known website (Such as Micorsoft.com)?
- Does the link redirect to a suspicious external domain appearing to look like the sender’s domain(i.e., micorsoft-support.com rather than microsoft.com)?
- Does the hover link show a URL that does not match where the context of the email claims it will take you?
- Do you recognize the link’s address or did you even expect to receive the link?
- Did you receive a blank email with long hyperlinks and no further information or context?
If you notice anything about the email that alarms you, do not click links, open attachments, or even reply. If everything seems okay, but you're still not sure–verify! Ask your IT team or leadership if the email is legitimate before proceeding. Remember, you are the last line of defense to prevent cyber criminals from succeeding and making you or your company susceptible to an attack.
There has been a significant increase in DNS domain names containing blacklivesmatter or George Floyd's name, and there is a good chance some of those are owned by people with malicious intent. Social engineers and phishing creators love to use newsworthy events to foist new scams. They know that people's interest in the latest events, natural or otherwise, makes potential victims less likely to be as skeptical when an unexpected email ends up in their inbox, especially if that email is enraging. Natural calamities like earthquakes, tornados, floods, and hurricanes have always been phishing draws. Pandemics, celebrity deaths, political upheaval, cultural unrest, and riots are guaranteed to trick a higher number of unsuspecting victims into clicking on a malicious link or downloading a file that requires their password.
Data breaches continue to be one of the many things that keep IT security people up at night. They are becoming more prevalent every day with many of them containing sophisticated and targeted attacks. It is important to note that not all attacks are initiated by externally facing bad actors. A recent report from Verizon shows that 30% of all breaches were caused by internal users. Some of that was through inadvertently giving up information to outside entities through spoofing/phishing but unfortunately, far too many are caused by sheer negligence, complacency, apathy and ignorance. It is imperative that we remain vigilant in our education efforts within our organization to mitigate these threats. This can be done many different ways; through phishing campaigns, classroom discussions, or annual in-service training. Head on over to Verizon’s website to read the article in its entirety.
COVID-19 has changed the IT landscape for the foreseeable future. During this tumultuous time it's imperative to remain vigilant and adhere to all security based guidelines, policies and procedures in place within your organization. Unfortunately bad actors are being just as vigilant in their use of multiple attack vectors, in an attempt to infiltrate our organizations. Jessica Davis over at healthitsecurity.com has released an article explaining one of the most recent attack vectors used by these bad actors and ways to mitigate the threats they pose. Unfortunately, with an increase in employees working offsite our exposure to these attack vectors continues to widen.