Story image

Thursdays are the most dangerous days for our inboxes, Proofpoint finds

08 Jun 2017

Be especially wary of the dangers lurking in your inbox on Thursdays - because that's when malicious email attachments are likely to spike, according a new report from Proofpoint.

The Human Factor 2017 report says that attackers are going after people more than tech flaws in order to spread malware, steal credentials and money and transfer that money elsewhere.

Business email compromise (BEC) scams may be driving the increases in email attack volumes. The report says that they jumped from 1% of all mail scams in 2015 to 42% housing banking email trojans in 2016.

BEC attacks are the fastest-growing attack types and according to Proofpoint statistics, cost $5 billion worldwide so far.

99% of email-based financial fraud attacks worked through human-based clicks rather than automated malware. Most phishing messages were after Apple IDs, but users most clicked on Google Drive phishing links.

Enterprises don't have full control over all devices uses in their network - the report found that 42% of clicks to malicious links came through mobile devices. 8% occurred through older versions of Windows that are not supported by new patches.

Thursday is also the most popular day for malicious attachment volume - which spikes 38% on that day alone.

Keyloggers and backdoors pop up on Mondays; Ransomware attacks spread more frequently between Tuesday and Thursday. Banking Trojans pop up mostly on Wednesdays. Thursday and Friday are major targets for point-of-sale campaigns.

The report found that 'peak clicking times' - i.e. when users click on suspicious links - coincide with business hours. 95% of those clicks happen in 24 hours, and 50% of clicks happen within the first hour of receiving it.

The median time between emails received and clicked links is just one hour. Most occur within one day after getting the email. More than 90% of those malicious links led to credential phishing pages.

The report also found that social media 'fraudulent support account phishing' jumped 150% last year. Called "angler phishing", attacks targeted bank customers, social media customers and other services that targeted customer posts on companies' social media channels.

ESET researchers break down latest arsenal of the infamous Sednit group
At the end of August 2018, the Sednit group launched a spear-phishing email campaign, in which it distributed shortened URLs that delivered first-stage Zebrocy components.
Container survey shows adoption accelerating while security concerns remain top of mind
The report features insights from over 500 IT professionals.
Google 'will do better' after G Suite passwords exposed since 2005
Fourteen years is a long time for sensitive information like usernames and passwords to be sitting ducks, unencrypted and at risk of theft and corruption.
Fake apps on Google Play scamming users out of cryptocurrency
Fake cryptocurrency apps on Google Play have been discovered to be phishing and scamming users out of cryptocurrency, according to a new report from ESET.
Hackbusters! Reviewing 90 days of cybersecurity incident response cases
While there are occasionally very advanced new threats, these are massively outnumbered by common-or-garden email fraud, ransomware attacks and well-worn old exploits.
SEGA turns to Palo Alto Networks for cybersecurity protection
When one of the world’s largest video game pioneers wanted to strengthen its IT defences against cyber threats, it started with firewalls and real-time threat intelligence from Palo Alto Networks.
Forrester names Trend Micro Leader in email security
TrendMicro earned the highest score for technology leadership, deployment options and cloud integration.
LogRhythm releases cloud-based SIEM solution
LogRhythm Cloud provides the same feature set and user experience as its on-prem experience.