cybercrime

Botnet Attack

Everything You Want to Know About a Botnet Attack


It is no secret that botnet attack have become significant security threats but what are they, exactly?

What is a Botnet Attack?

A botnet attack is performed by hackers using a collection of malware-infected devices, often termed as “zombies,” which are being controlled by the attackers. We often think of servers and computers being used in such an attack but increasingly, IoT devices like cameras, thermostats and more can help form botnet clusters.

Threat actors gain access to a device by using particular viruses to weaken the computer’s security system before executing “command and control software” to let them conduct their malicious activities on a large scale.

These activities can be automated to carry out countless simultaneous attacks, paralyzing infected devices for ransom or damage while also disguising their identity via the vast botnet network.

A botnet is used in many cybercrimes such as exploiting and making a financial gain, malware propagation, or just general disturbance of the Internet.

Botnet attacks are launched in many ways, including:

  • Spam Emails

The spamming process can be conducted by posing bots as a content server while others as SMTP servers. A spam campaign includes message templates, a senders list, and a recipient list.

  • Launching a DDOS Attack:

A Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDoS) is another type of botnet attack launched on a website, company or government. This is conducted by sending many requests for content that overwhelms and shuts down the targeted server or website.

  • Ad Fraud

Cybercriminals can utilize the combined processing power of botnets to run fraudulent advertising schemes to attract clicks to get a percentage of ad fees.

  • Distributing Spyware, Malware, and Ransomware

Botnet attacks are also conducted to distribute spyware, ransomware, and malware.

  • Selling and Renting:

Believe it or not, botnets can be found for sale on the dark web to other cybercriminals to exploit!

HOW TO PREVENT BOTNET ATTACKS?

1. Emphasize Cybersecurity Education

For companies of all sizes, training their people is key. Employees should be trained to report unauthorized emails to the IT team, how to spot phishing emails, not to use public WiFi without using a VPN and more.

2. Keep All Software Up-to-Date

Software patches should always be applied promptly – beyond your browser and operating system, don’t forget to update antivirus protection, too!

3. Spam Filtering:

Email filtering solutions should be enabled to prevent most malicious messages from getting into the email inboxes. The more messages that are blocked, the less risk there is of your staff interacting with a phishing email.

4. Avoid Downloads from File Sharing Networks and P2P

Botnets regularly capitalize on P2P networks and file-sharing services to exploit company networks. Make sure all files are downloaded only from trusted sources and they’re scanned before and after downloading.

5. Control Access

Use multi-factor, risk-based authentication and other safe practices for access controls to prevent a successful botnet invasion on one machine from affecting the entire network.

Read more
hacker

How To Protect Your Data From Hackers


Hackers are the digital thieves who illegally get into your network to steal valuable information—financial data, passwords, intellectual property, personal information, or whatever crucial information they can get their hands on.

This data is generally used to steal money from accounts or to set up credit cards, and they may even sell data to your competitors.

In fact, all they need is one account or device to inflict damage. On top of that, they are not easy to stop because they are often located outside the country. They use sophisticated technology to resist law enforcement and get massive amounts of information.

According to one survey, 52% of data breaches are hacking. Hackers attack every 39 seconds, accounting for 2,244 times a day. Another scary finding is that hackers steal 75 records every second.

Don’t think that your business is too small to be attacked. Small businesses are always on the radar of cybercriminals due to outdated security systems and lack a cybersecurity team.

Fortunately, you can minimize or eliminate the risk by taking precautions.

Here are some security tips to protect your business data from hackers. 

Be Careful with Your Password:

Creating a strong password may seem an essential piece of advice, but the fact is that not all users are serious about their passwords. Most users still create secure passwords like ABCD, 1234, or their date of birth.

Such passwords are low hanging fruits for today’s sophisticated cybercriminals. Therefore, you need to create a strong password and change them frequently.

A strong password is a combination of alphabets, numbers, and special characters. Don’t use the same password for all accounts.

Work With the Right ISP:

Make sure to choose the right Internet Service Providers or ISP beyond their cost and speed.

The market is stacked with plenty of ISPs. Go for the one that comes with built-in security features. ISPs have a significant impact on cybersecurity because of their prominent position in the network.

Internet service provider

Limit or Block Access to Unnecessary Sites:

Restricting access to certain websites minimizes the risk of a security breach, so it’s the right thing to make sure only the authorized users get access to specific data.

Similarly, blocking specific sites from being viewed reduces the risk of viruses and spyware injecting sites from being accessed within your network.

Therefore, take the necessary measures to block malicious sites and make sure your security tools like antivirus are upgraded.

password

Use Up to Date Security Programs:

The simplest way to protecting your data from hackers is to update your security software. The constant updates might seem to hassle, but you should stick to them.

Using dated software can increase the risk of being hacked. Upgrades are essential to improve the efficiency of the security tools against the latest malware. Besides, you need to back up your data at least once a week.

Security Program
Protect Your Network:

With an unsecured Wi-Fi network, you are asking for trouble. Hackers utilize a technique known as wardriving, and it’s quite lethal. Wardriving is when cybercriminals equip their cars with high powered antennas and drive around scanning for the vulnerable network. When these hackers find a soft target, all of your passwords, finances, and data are on the risk.

Therefore, make sure to protect your Wi-Fi network and rely strictly on wired networks.

network

Educate Your Employees:

Employee negligence is one of the factors leading to cyber-attacks. For example, your employees can use weak passwords or leave their devices containing relevant data exposed. Or they may open emails that contain malicious links.

This way, they are making your data prone to attack unintentionally. Therefore, you need to educate your employees on cybersecurity. Besides, it would be best if you created formal company data policy, setting acceptable and prohibited online activities for employees. Their email access to personal smartphones via the company’s Wi-Fi should be restricted.

Employees

Conducting regular cybersecurity workshops are also an effective way to keep your staff educated on cybersecurity. If you are small enterprises, you can organize these events together with other local small businesses. Moreover, organizing cybersecurity workshops for your clients can be a great branding opportunity.

Practicing cybersecurity on a daily bases strengthens the security of your organization, eliminates the risk of hackers, and makes your business’s landscape safe and sound.

What do you think? Please let us know by commenting below.

Read more
Botnet

5 Most Ignored Signs of a Malicious Bot ATTACK!


According to a 2017 survey, bot traffic has surpassed human traffic on the Internet.

What is Modern botnet and why they are dangerous?

Modern botnet

The modern botnet is one of the sophisticated cybercrime techniques. A botnet is a collection of internet-connected devices infected by malware that lets cybercriminals control them. The botnet attack is commonly used to get unauthorized access, data theft, DDoS attacks, and credentials leak.

Because of their complicated size and the challenges involved in detecting them, botnets can be operated secretly so that victims can’t sense them. Some software updates are also bots. Simply put, our digital technologies are surrounded by unavoidable bots.

But that doesn’t mean your network is destined to be attacked by bots. You can protect your network by identifying these malicious robots and you don’t have to be a skilled data scientist.

So How to Identify Malicious bots on your network?

All you need to do is follow the steps given below.

  • Keep an Eye on the Uniformity of Communications:

First, try to distinguish between bots (both bad and good) and humans. You can do this by identifying those machines that continuously communicates with a victim.

Bots communicate with their targets because they require commands, signals, and data. You need to find out the hosts that stay in touch with their targets periodically and continuously. Weekly traffic is sufficient to figure out client-target communication. Uniform communications are likely to be generated by a bot.

  • The Rate of Failed Login Attempts is Quite High:

One of the popular uses of bots is to steal passwords—a practice that is also known as ATO attack. A botnet will try to take control of user accounts by testing user-password combinations obtained from other sites. This way, botnets might attempt to legalize millions of accounts per day. If you’re struggling with your passwords, it might be the sign of a bot attack. You can use analytic tools like Google Analytics and your access logs to track those failed login attempts over time.

  • Identify Malicious Bots within Browsers:

Another way to identify malicious bots is to look at particular information contained in HTTP headers. Internet browsers generally have clear headers’ image. In normal browsing, the link within a browser will generate a “referrer” header that will be included in the next request for that URL.

However, traffic generated by a bot might not have a “referrer” header or it will look “fake”. The bots that look the same in every traffic flow are likely to be highly malicious.

  • Failing of Gift Card Numbers:

Botnets are also used to steal the value from genuine gift cards. It is easy to target gift card accounts with bots.

This is because companies don’t ask for a billing address, account name or personal info when attackers get their hand on gift cards account. That’s why attackers can use several combinations to get valid pairs of card numbers and pin codes. When an invalid pair is made, it generates a failed validation notification. If your gift card validation fails several times, consider it a solid signal that bots are attempting to steal your customer’s gift card balances to resell them on the dark web.

  • Increase in Irregular Page Viewing Patterns:

A human customer is likely to check the things that appeal to them. They look for their desired items and check out. What if they check every single product page on your website—or even half of those pages?

Scraper bots are used for this purpose as they are only aimed at the product pages. Those bots also visit the search page numerous times during a session. Unusual sessions generally include ridiculous searches and can be a sign of a bot attack. Besides, those sessions could be longer as it takes bot time to copy content in large volumes.

So these are the things to look for in your network to keep the risk of malicious bots at a bay. Plus, you can install effective anti-malware software to add extra layers to your cybersecurity.

What do you think? Let us know by commenting below.

Read more
Phishing

Best Ways to Prevent Phishing Attacks


Given the soaring rise in phishing attacks over the years, your site can be the next target. Have a proactive approach now by opting for these anti-phishing measures.

Phishing sounds like fishing. Right?

Well, both have a similar meaning to some extent. But here we will talk about phishing. Fishing means catching the fishes by luring them with bait. Phishing is the same thing, but with a slight difference. While it doesn’t lure the fishes, it tricks web users into fraudulent activity—just like trapping the fishes.

Let’s dig deeper.

Phishing is a malicious practice to steal personal information, login credentials, and credit card numbers from an individual by trapping them through offers or posing as a trustable entity. For example, an attacker will send you an email claiming to be from recognized sources and ask you to provide your account or credit card information.

According to one report, nearly 80% of all malware attack comes from phishing. Sadly, 97% of people, according to another study, are not able to recognize a phishing attack. And phishing scams cost American business 500 USD million a year.

Therefore, keep your website safe from such malicious attacks. All you need is to practice these things:

8 Fays to Prevent To Phishing attacks

1.) Use SSL Certificate:

SSL certificates provide critical security, data integrity and privacy for both your website and user’s personal information. Having an SSL certificate ensures both you and your customer’s information is properly encrypted and can’t be easily decoded by anyone. No wonder most customers like to visit SSL secured websites. If a site protected by SSL, then it begins with “https” instead of “HTTP”.

2.) Use Strong FTP Passwords:

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. As the name suggests, it allows you to send or receive files (transferring) over the internet. For example, you can share your files with other users over the Internet by uploading it through your computer. Make sure to use strong passwords for your FTP. Otherwise, it would be a cakewalk for a hacker to access your data.

3.) Check Your Account for Malicious Files or Folders:

Make sure your folders and files are server related files with an extension like phpinfo.php file. If you notice a lot of text files in a folder that you hadn’t seen the day before, it is an indication that your site is under threat. Contact your web hosting vendor as soon as possible in case of having such folders or files with unknown origin.

4.) Remove the Signs of Phishing:

Web Hosting Hub plays an important role to detect phishing attempts from your servers. In some cases, you are required to remove the files on your own as you will be notified directly.

5.) Block Access to Restricted Sites:

Not all websites are safe to visit. Some websites contain malicious content to gain access to your data. These sites lure visitors by showing them porn content or offer to win attractive prizes.

But how will you stop your employees from clicking such site links? You should restrict those sites from being able to be opened over your network. It can be done by making a few changes in your network. Also, stay updated with the list of blocked sites in your nation.

6.) Set the Number of Login Attempts:

Generally, a hacker is likely to make several attempts to crack your website password. He just needs one successful attempt to make it into your data. So, reduce the number of login attempts to keep such risk at a bay.

By default, WordPress lets users try different passwords as many times as they want. This feature is known as a brute force attack. You need to install the Login Lockdown plugin to restrict several login retries. If the number of failed attempts exceed the login retries limit, then your site will lock the user’s IP address for a temporary period (based on your settings).

7.) Change Admin Login URL:

Does your website login page open up by putting wp-admin at the end of the URL? If so, you are giving an easy route to the hackers. This minor mistake can lead to a huge setback to your website.

Therefore, make it secure by changing this to something less predictable like wp-login.123? ordu_login.php etc.

8.) Encrypt your Wireless Network:

Anyone can use your wireless network without your permission, no matter if they are outside your office or living in the building next to you.

It will not only increase your Internet bill but also allows hackers to access your data using your Wi-network. In such a scenario, you need to encrypt your Wi-Fi. It is very simple to do.

Just go to your router’s settings and find security options. You will find WEP, WPA, and WPA2 which are encryption methods. Choose the one and enable it.

In this way, these simple yet effective things help you save your website from phishing. Stay Safe. Stay Aware.

Read more

AI and Cybersecurity


The introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) into a wide range of situations is known to make such a situation better in terms of efficiency and experience. AI has gained recognition in many industries such as education, customer service, banking, and automation to mention a few. Recently, AI is beginning to gain popularity in cybersecurity and it is also playing a substantial role in the fight against cybercrime.

AI is valuable in cybersecurity because it advances how security experts investigate, study, and understand cybercrime. It boosts the cybersecurity know-hows that businesses use to fight hackers and help keep organizations and customers safe. Artificial Intelligence (AI) improves the efficiency of cybersecurity in the following ways:

  1. Timeliness: An AI-based cybersecurity is not founded on human monitoring alone. Threats can be detected almost immediately. In fact, there is no break once artificial intelligence is involved. Your network or system is always available 24/7 because it recognizes no holiday or non-work hours.

Also, this constant availability results in an immediate response to threats. That is, the security of your business is always around the clock.

 

  1. Speed: AI helps to filter the massive amount of data for an outlier in a short time. When this task is done by humans, it could take days or even a month before this can be achieved. In addition, manually creating a network security policy and understanding an organization’s network topography will most likely be cumbersome. For instance, a data center of average size may have up to 500 applications and could require 4,500 different security rules!

 

  1. Improves password protection and authentication: Passwords are a vital part of security. Nonetheless, we can be careless with our passwords or even use a single password for several accounts without changing it for an extended period of time. This approach makes your system or network easy to hack. Fortunately, AI enhances authentication and gets rid of imperfections thereby making your system more reliable.

 

  1. Vulnerability Management: Using AI as opposed to the traditional procedure in identifying risks is taking the innovativeness of your business a notch higher. This eliminates having to allow hackers to exploit the vulnerabilities of your network before you counteract them. AI helps you develop a proactive vulnerability management scheme.

Due to the increase in the complexity of networks, the ability to handle it is now beyond that of human beings alone. Therefore, using artificial intelligence will be a huge advantage to your business’s security and protection.

It is important to note that AI in cybersecurity can either be the savior or enemy of your business. It depends on whose arsenal the weapon (AI) belongs, either yours or your enemy’s (hacker). Therefore, be smart and take advantage of AI in securing your cyberspace instead of allowing the opposite site (hacker) to use it against you. CYNEXLINK is your go-to.

Cynexlink is a technology company that provides services that include Cybersecurity Solutions, Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN), Managed IT Services, Cloud Vendor Selection & Consulting, Cynexlink VoIP, and CCPA.

For more information, visit our website at www.cynexlink.com NOW!!!

Read more