When we hear Cybersecurity, we think of cool stuff we see in Sci-Fi movies, hacking people, their devices; even shutting down governments with a click, but what we see is not how this stuff really works. It takes a lot of hard work, patience, and a lot of passion for the field to defend and ensure the security and privacy of user data and information systems.
This Thanksgiving a special shout out to our cybersecurity professionals and consultants!
This story is about “intelligence” thwarting the attempts of a hacker to introduce malware through phishing. Thanks to attentive users who reported issues and the ISAC (Information Sharing and Analysis Center) that collected the intelligence and provided timely reports. (Certain details have been changed to maintain privacy)
A retail store was going through their bi-annual security assessment when they found a specific phishing email in their systems. Closer examination of the email and the system along with analyses of data collected earlier revealed that several persons had reported receiving similar emails over the past weeks. However, the Antivirus (AV) installed on all systems had successfully quarantined the malware! The retail store shared information regarding the email and the malware with other retailers through a direct dialog. Retailers checked within their own companies by putting their security teams on high alert and were able to find the malware and delete it; avoiding harm thanks to the information shared.
The ISAC later identified that 25 retailers were targeted with the same phishing link.
Cybersecurity lore is filled with people (the bad guys!) wanting to get data from where they aren’t supposed to get it, do things just for enjoyment or having a sinister motive behind it. The data exfiltrated is used to hold companies for ransom (Ransomware Attack) or changed to cause a chain of events, leading to the downfall of the organization. There are different ways in which these attackers operate.
However, it is now time talk about the “good guys” and the awesome work they do to keep our cyberspace safe!