Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Frank Lupo

News Feed Item

Proofpoint Identifies New Class of 'Industrial Phishing' Attack

'Longlining' Attacks Employ Mass Customization to Penetrate Traditional Enterprise Security Defenses and Effectively Trick End-Users at an Alarming Rate

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/26/13 -- RSA Conference Booth #739 - Proofpoint, Inc., (NASDAQ: PFPT), a leading security-as-a-service provider, today released the results of a wide-ranging study that identified a new class of sophisticated and effective, large-scale phishing attack dubbed "longlining." Longlining, which is named after the industrial fishing practice of deploying miles-long fishing lines with thousands of individual hooks, combines successful spear phishing tactics with mass customization. Using these techniques, attackers are now able to rapidly deploy thousands of unique, malware laden messages that are largely undetectable to traditional signature and reputation-based security systems. Worse, despite their scale, these mass customized phish were effective enough to trick more than 10 percent of recipients into clicking on malicious content capable of taking complete control of PCs and compromising corporate networks.

Proofpoint was able to trace and defeat these attacks for enterprises using Proofpoint Targeted Attack Protection™, the company's recently introduced, big data protection solution.

Phishing Meets Mass Customization

Unlike conventional mass phishing exploits, the 'hooks' (email messages) used in longlining are highly variable rather than identical, making them largely undetectable to traditional signature and reputation-based security gateways. The messages are typically varied by IP address of origination, subject line and body content. The body content also includes multiple mutations of an embedded destination URL, which typically leads to a site with a positive reputation that's been successfully compromised prior to the attack. The compromised Web destinations are loaded with hidden malware either before, during or sometimes after the attack wave has begun.

Through the use of a distributed cloud of previously compromised machines and process automation to create high variance, attackers have been able to combine the stealth techniques and malicious payloads of spear phishing with massively parallel delivery. This means they can cost-effectively send 10,000 or even 100,000 individual spear phishing messages, all capable of bypassing traditional security. Attackers' ability to distribute thousands of email-borne malicious URL 'hooks' in a matter of hours greatly improves their odds of success and their ability to exploit zero-day defects before corporate IT has time to patch vulnerable systems.

"With longlining, cyber-criminals are combining the stealth and effectiveness of spear phishing with the speed and scale of traditional phishing and virus attacks," said David Knight, executive vice president of product management for Proofpoint. "Legacy security systems and techniques simply can't cope with this combination of speed and sophistication, leaving large enterprises increasingly vulnerable to a wide-range of criminal activity and data loss."

Typical Attacks

As part of the new, six month study, which involved over one billion email messages, Proofpoint observed, documented and countered dozens of longlining attacks globally. For example, on October 3, 2012, Proofpoint observed a Russia-based attack with 135,000 emails sent to more than 80 companies in a three-hour period. To avoid detection, the attacker employed approximately 28,000 different IP addresses as sending agents, 35,000 different 'sender' aliases, and more than twenty legitimate websites compromised to host drive-by downloads of zero-day malware. Because of the different agents, sender aliases, URLs and text, no single targeted organization saw more than three emails with the same characteristic. Overall, this attack represented less than 0.06 percent of the targeted companies' mail flow (compared to 19 percent for spam and 11 percent for virus-laden email). The combination of mass customization and proportionally low volume made this longlining attack effectively invisible to traditional anti-spam products, enabling widespread access to corporate networks.

Similar attacks were documented throughout the fourth quarter of 2012 and early 2013. In another representative attack, approximately 28,800 messages were sent in multiple one-hour bursts to over 200 enterprises. The campaign consisted of 813 unique compromised URLs sent from 2,181 different sending IPs. Again, each organization saw no more than three messages with identical content.

Alarmingly Effective

Despite their relatively large scale, longline attacks were alarmingly effective.

  • Ten percent of the email messages containing embedded malicious URLs that escaped perimeter detection were clicked on by the receiving employees
  • All the longline attacks employed so call "drive-by downloads" installed on compromised web-sites. These attacks leverage browser, PDF and Java vulnerabilities to install "rootkits" invisibly with no user action required beyond clicking on the emailed URL and visiting the infected web-site
  • Almost one out of every five clicks (19%) on malicious URLs embedded in email occurred 'off network' when employees accessed their email from home, on the road, or via mobile devices where they were outside corporate perimeter protection

To learn more about longline phishing attacks, download a copy of the Proofpoint whitepaper, Longline Phishing: Email-borne Threats, Cloud Computing, Big Data, and the Rise of Industrial Phishing Attacks at http://www.proofpoint.com/longline-wp.

About Proofpoint, Inc.

Proofpoint Inc. (NASDAQ: PFPT) is a leading security-as-a-service provider that focuses on cloud-based solutions for threat protection, compliance, archiving & governance and secure communications. Organizations around the world depend on Proofpoint's expertise, patented technologies and on-demand delivery system to protect against phishing, malware and spam, safeguard privacy, encrypt sensitive information, and archive and govern messages and critical enterprise information. More information is available at www.proofpoint.com.

Proofpoint Targeted Attack Protection is a registered trademark of Proofpoint, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

Add to Digg Bookmark with del.icio.us Add to Newsvine

Media Contact:
Orlando DeBruce
Proofpoint, Inc.
408-338-6829
odebruce@proofpoint.com

Sarmishta Ramesh
Ogilvy Public Relations
303-527-4615
sarmishta.ramesh@ogilvy.com

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they b...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of hybrid cloud enablement solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere Systems was created by file systems experts determined to reinvent storage by changing the way enterprises thought about and bought storage resources. With decades of experience behind the company’s founders, Avere got its ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will discuss how from store operations...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CAST Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CAST was founded more than 25 years ago to make the invisible visible. Built around the idea that even the best analytics on the market still leave blind spots for technical teams looking to deliver better software and prevent outages, CAST provides the software intelligence that matter ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japanese Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ruby Development Inc. builds new services in short period of time and provides a continuous support of those services based on Ruby on Rails. For more information, please visit https://github.com/RubyDevInc.
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...