I get these emails somewhat regularly, as I’m sure you do too. I usually just laugh…how stupid do you have to be to fall for this stuff??? However…I then realize there must be enough people that do fall for it, otherwise these criminals would not be sending the emails out. Ugh!!
For Your Prompt Attention:
I am Peter Douglas, United Nations Inspection Agent in Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport Atlanta GA. We are conducting second phase audition, all abandoned Consignment in USA Airports are being transferred to our facilities here for inspection and confiscation. During our investigation, I discovered an abandoned luggage on your name which was transferred to our facility here in Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport and when scanned it, it revealed an undisclosed sum of money in a Metal Trunk Box. The consignment was abandoned because the Content was not properly declared by the consignee as money, rather it was declared as personal effect to avoid diversion by the Diplomatic Agent also the Diplomat inability to pay for Non Inspection Fees.
On my assumption, the box will contain more that $6M and the consignment is left in storage house till today through a Courier Dispatch Service. The Consignment is a metal box with weight of about 162LBS (Internal dimension:
W61 x H156 x D73 (cm) Effective capacity: 680 L)Approximately.
The details of the consignment includes your name, the official document from United Nations office in London all are tagged on the Metal Trunk box.
< etc, etc >
Verizon 2018 DBIR
Last week, Verizon released its annual Data Breach Investigations Report for 2018. It’s another very good read…lots of insights in the world of hacking and nation-state activities. It is well written with some good humor thrown in too.
And it is very scary.
Sometimes I just want to unplug my network from the Internet…I know that I would sleep better, that is for sure. But…business depends on the Internet…so that is not an option. I just need to research and implement security as best as I can. And be prepared as best as I can for the inevitable security event…it will happen. It might be this year or next…or it might be happening right now.
You can download a copy of the report here: Verizon 2018 DBIR
Note…you will be asked to register, but it is optional…just click the “View only” button.
If you have subscribed to the US-CERT alerts (and I sure hope you have!!), then you will have received today’s alert on “Ongoing Threat of Ransomware“. PLEASE read it!! Ransomware is getting worse…and it’s not going away anytime soon. This alert is more of a friendly reminder…a tap on your shoulder…to double check your policies and procedures, and make sure you are ready for a Ransomware event. I’m being very honest here…if you haven’t been hit yet, you will.
The alert mentions three main best practices…(with some of my thoughts)…
- Create system back-ups: This is a no brainer! (I’ll assume you are backing up all of your critical systems and important data.) However, there is more to do…you need to regularly validate the integrity of those backups. Perform test restores and make sure you are comfortable with the processes. And make sure the back-ups are segmented from possible Ransomware attacks. Back-ups are worthless if they end up part of the Ransomware encrypted files.
- Be wary of opening emails and attachments from unknown or unverified senders: Translated…TRAIN your users!! They are the first line of defense!! And you may groan at that thought, but I will tell you they WANT to be well trained! Just keep it simple and show them examples of what to expect (especially with phishing emails!). Send out regular reminders and make sure to publicly praise them as they catch this stuff…they will love it!!
- Ensure that systems are updated with the latest patches: Ladies and gentlemen…this is Network Administration 101. If you do not have a regular patch procedure in place, then shame on you!! Failing in this area can get you fired! Nuff said…
And I want to add one more “best practice”… Segment your network: This is a huge undertaking…one that is a pain in the butt to be honest. But it can pay huge dividends if done right. Most of you will have a Ransomware event at some point (or other security event)…it’s going to happen. However, if you segment your network, you can greatly reduce the impact of an attack or hack.
Segmenting simply means to put in place policies that restrict what type of network traffic can flow where. A simple example is printers…every company has them (lots of them!). Yet most companies place them on the same network segments as the users…not good. You should place all of your printers in their own VLAN, and then apply a policy, such as an ACL (Access Control List) that allows the printers to talk just to the print-servers, and nowhere else. Another example is SQL servers…they should not be accessible to everyone. Apply an ACL that limits communications to only the application servers that need that data (IP addresses and ports).
If you decide to implement network segmentation, take your time! This is a complex undertaking…and if done incorrectly can break things very quickly!
Hope this helps you in your security planning! And have a great week!