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Government Cloud: Article

Don’t Take the Impostor’s Bait | @CloudExpo #Cloud #Cybersecurity

You’ve seen it, the almost perfect looking email with actual logos, images and links to a reputable company

Phishing has been around since the dawn of the internet. The term was first used in an AOL Usenet group back in 1996 but it wasn’t until 2003 when many baited hooks and lures started dropping. Popular transaction destinations like PayPal and eBay were some of the early victims of these spoofed sites asking customers to update their personal and credit card information. By 2004, it was a full-fledged ‘get rich quick scheme’ with many financial institutions – and their customers – as targets.

detect_phishing_intro

Oxford Dictionary defines Phishing as, ‘The fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.’

You’ve seen it, the almost perfect looking email with actual logos, images and links to a reputable company only to have it go to a slick looking replica complete with a login form. If you aren’t paying attention and do enter your credentials, you’ve just given a crook access to your money.

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) reports a 250 percent jump in the number of detected phishing websites between October 2015 and March 2016. More than in any other three-month span since it began tracking back in 2004. That’s around 230,000 unique phishing campaigns a month. And as recent as last week, American Express users were hit with a phishing email offering anti-phishing protection. Go figure. If you clicked the link, you were taken to a bogus Amex login page which asks for all the important stuff: SSN, DoB, mother’s maiden, AMEX number plus security code and a few other vitals.

When complete, you’ll be redirected to the authentic site so you think you’ve been there all along. That’s how they work their magic. A very similar domain URL and all the bells of the original, including the real customer service 800 number.

You can combat it however.

F5’s WebSafe Web Fraud Protection can secure your organization (and your customers) against the evolving online fraud and you do not need any special client to detect it. WebSafe inserts an obfuscated JavaScript code which can detect malware like bait, mandatory words or if the fake was loaded from a different domain. It can validate source integrity like comparing fields for multiple users and detect threats like automatic transactions. Alerts are sent to an on premise dashboard and can also be forwarded to F5’s Security Operations Center (SOC).

If you are configuring malware protection for the login and transaction pages for a financial application, it’s as simple as adding an Anti-Fraud profile to your VIP.

First, you create an anti-fraud profile:

anti fraud

Then indicate which URL should be watched and the action:

anti fraud url

Then enable Phishing detection:

anti fraud pshishing

And when a phishing attach occurs, both the domain and the username of the victim get reported to the dashboard :

copied-user

The code that’s inserted is a little piece of JavaScript added to your website to detect the malicious activity. No action is needed on the part of the user since everything is handled within BIG-IP.

anti fraud code added

This tiny piece of code will dramatically reduce fraud loss and retain the most important asset in business—customer confidence.

Don’t get fooled by a faker.

ps

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More Stories By Peter Silva

Peter is an F5 evangelist for security, IoT, mobile and core. His background in theatre brings the slightly theatrical and fairly technical together to cover training, writing, speaking, along with overall product evangelism for F5. He's also produced over 350 videos and recorded over 50 audio whitepapers. After working in Professional Theatre for 10 years, Peter decided to change careers. Starting out with a small VAR selling Netopia routers and the Instant Internet box, he soon became one of the first six Internet Specialists for AT&T managing customers on the original ATT WorldNet network.

Now having his Telco background he moved to Verio to focus on access, IP security along with web hosting. After losing a deal to Exodus Communications (now Savvis) for technical reasons, the customer still wanted Peter as their local SE contact so Exodus made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. As only the third person hired in the Midwest, he helped Exodus grow from an executive suite to two enormous datacenters in the Chicago land area working with such customers as Ticketmaster, Rolling Stone, uBid, Orbitz, Best Buy and others.

Writer, speaker and Video Host, he's also been in such plays as The Glass Menagerie, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cinderella and others.

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