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Avoid Reply-Chain Phishing Attacks at All Costs

Phishing. It appears that cybersecurity is always mentioned in articles about it. This is due to the fact that phishing remains the most popular method of cyberattack delivery.


Employee login information could be targeted by cybercriminals. or want to start a ransomware assault to get paid. or perhaps install spyware to steal private information. All of these can be done by sending a phishing email.


According to 80% of the security specialists questioned, the number of phishing campaigns has dramatically grown since the epidemic.

Due to the transition to remote teams, phishing is not only still effective but also becoming more prevalent. Nowadays, a lot of employees work from home. They lack the same network security measures that they did while working in an office.


Why is phishing still effective now after all these years? People are only now beginning to understand what phishing looks like.


It’s true that compared to ten years ago, individuals are generally more knowledgeable about phishing emails and how to recognise them. However, it’s also true that as scammers refine their techniques, it’s getting harder to recognise these emails.


One of the most recent strategies is extremely challenging to spot. It is a phishing attack known as reply chain.

What is a Reply-Chain Phishing Attack?

Almost everyone is familiar with email reply chains. A reply to an email that has been copied to one or more recipients appears at the bottom of the new message. Then a third person joins the discussion by responding to the same email.


You quickly have a series of emails responding to specific questions. Each response is listed below the one before it so that everyone can follow the dialogue.


You wouldn’t anticipate seeing a phishing email nestled away in a continuing email exchange. Most consumers anticipate phishing to arrive as a brand-new message rather than one that is part of an ongoing reply chain.


Because it does just that, the reply-chain phishing assault is exceptionally sneaky. It incorporates a deceptive phishing email into the running thread of an email reply chain.

How Does a Hacker Gain Access to the Reply Chain?

How can a hacker get into the reply chain discussion? by breaking into one of the email addresses of individuals who were copied in the email chain.


The hacker can send emails from a known and trusted email account to the other recipients. They also benefit from reading the entire series of responses. They can then design a reaction that seems appropriate as a result.


For instance, they might observe that there has been discussion about a potential new Superbug product proposal. They respond by saying, “I’ve written up some views on the new Superbug product, here’s a link to see them.”

Responses don’t look like phishing emails at all. I agree with you for the following reasons:

• Sent from a colleague’s email address. This address has already participated in an e-mail conversation.

• It may sound natural, but it may serve as a reference point for discussion.

• Use personalization. Email allows hackers to call others using names they see in the reply chain.

Business Email Compromise is Increasing

Business Email Compromise (BEC) is so widely used that it has its own acronym. Weak and insecure passwords lead to email compromise. This also applies to data breaches that reveal databases full of user logins. Both have contributed to the spread of BEC.

By 2021, 77% of organizations will have suffered a business email compromise attack. This is up from 65% last year.

Credential theft is a leading cause of data breaches worldwide. So it’s quite possible that one of your company’s email accounts will be compromised.

Reply His chain phishing attack is one of the ways hackers monetize these his BECs. They use it to distribute ransomware and other malware or steal sensitive data to sell on the dark web.

Tips for Addressing Reply-Chain Phishing

Here are some ways to mitigate the risk of reply chain phishing within your organization.

• Use a corporate password manager: This reduces the risk of employees reusing passwords across multiple apps. It also eliminates the need to remember passwords, which eliminates the use of weak passwords.

• Add multi-factor control to your email account: Submit a system query (question or required code). This can be used for email logins from external IP addresses to prevent account compromise.

• Teach your employees to pay attention: awareness plays a big role in recognizing what might be a little “off” in email replies. Many attackers make mistakes.

How Strong Are Your Email Account Protections?

Are your business email accounts sufficiently secure to prevent breaches? Let us know if you need help. We have email security solutions that can better protect you.

FAQ

How can phishing attacks be prevented?

Anti-spyware and firewall settings should be used to prevent phishing attacks and users should update their programs regularly. Firewall protection prevents access to malicious files by blocking attacks. Antivirus software scans all files that enter your computer over the Internet.

How does email hijacking work?

Email hijacking is another form of a man-in-the-middle attack in which hackers break in and gain access to targeted email accounts. The attacker then secretly monitors the communication between the client and provider and uses the information for malicious purposes.

What are the prevention measures to avoid phishing and spamming?

Protect yourself when malicious messages enter your computer with anti-phishing and anti-spam software. Antimalware is included to prevent other types of threats. Like anti-spam software, anti-malware software is programmed by security researchers to detect even the most stealthy malware.

What is thread hijacking

Thread execution hijacking is a method of executing arbitrary code in the address space of another live process. Thread execution hijacking is usually done by stopping the existing process and emptying its memory. This allows you to replace it with the path to malicious code or DLL.

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