A recent paper by six Google braniacs describes the complex system Google has developed to detect and block “adversarial advertisements” for the benefit and safety of its users. Brands will be glad to hear that adversarial ads encompass those selling counterfeit goods, as well as those that proliferate phishing and malware attacks, among others. Put simply, Google’s system combines both machines and human experts to create what Google claims is a highly reliable system for detecting adversarial ads and then blocks them from being served. The human element is used to uncover constantly evolving tactics used by adversaries that cannot be... Read More
Spam levels have declined dramatically since the March 16 takedown of Rustock, the world’s largest botnet, but how long will this victory last?  Rustock was responsible for sending almost half of all global spam and up to 44 billion spam emails per day.  The spam was mainly emails that linked to websites offering counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs.  Since the Rustock takedown, Viagra and Cialis spam emails have declined 75 percent, and security vendors have noted that Rustock has not become active again.  The takedown is certainly a positive development, but pharmaceutical brand owners have good reason to remain cautious. The key reason... Read More
Since March 2010, and especially this month, the MarkMonitor Security Operations Center (SOC) has noticed a significant increase in the use of free web hosting services for phishing and malware attacks.  Cybercriminals are using free hosting services to either host the phishing and malware sites themselves or redirect to fast-flux malicious sites. Here is how this new attack method works: Emails with links, obfuscated by the use of HTML or a URL shortening service, direct victims to a free-hosted web page.  In some cases, this page would be a phishing or malware site.  In other cases, the landing page would have... Read More
Beginning this month, MarkMonitor will be sharing a new, monthly Fraud Intelligence Report with customers and other interested parties in our blog. The goal of the report is to provide timely analysis of developing trends and new threats in the fraud landscape. The Fraud Intelligence Report will complement the current MarkMonitor analysis as provided in the semi-annual Brandjacking Index® reports and customer reports. The headline findings of the April 2010 Fraud Intelligence Report are: Phishing Attack Volume Continues to Grow Phishing attack volume increased 33% to 36,557 attacks in April, continuing the growth trend from March; however, phishing attack volume has... Read More
Phishing attacks have become more sophisticated with the use of fast-flux botnets as resilient attack platforms. The fast-fluxing among hundreds of compromised computers which serve as proxies for phishing sites means that detection and shutdown become more difficult. One particular fast-flux botnet called Avalanche has received much attention in recent months as a major platform for hosting phishing sites. What has not been discussed as much is how the distinction between phishing and malware has ceased to exist. Avalanche offers a prime example of how blended attacks are launched from a fast-flux botnet platform. Arbor Networks reported earlier this month that... Read More
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Alison Simpson
With more than 13 years’ experience in the domain industry, Alison has managed all aspects of Corporate Domain Managem... More