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On June 15, 2015, we sent an advisory regarding targeted social engineering/phishing attacks of elevated sophistication attempting to engineer fraudulent wire transfers across our clients. Since then, media reports have created better visibility into these types of attacks. On August 27, 2015 Brian Krebs (of krebsonsecurity.com) posted a summary of an FBI news release: (http://krebsonsecurity.com/2015/08/fbi-1-2b-lost-to-business-email-scams/).
Despite additional visibility and media coverage, these attacks continue to find success.
Over the past two months, we have analyzed over a dozen of these recent attack attempts within our client base, and have additional details to share:
As these types of attack rely upon tricking people with email content and contains no technical exploits, there are very few technical remedies. However, we recommend the following additional options:
All should watch the three most common Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques attackers use to gain information:
For example, a false request might look as though the CEO of the company has sent an urgent request to have money transferred, however they are in a board meeting and request that they are not disturbed. Existence of any two of these three NLP characteristics may indicate a potential fraud situation and should require further critical analysis.
We also recommend the following out-of-band verification methods: