Social Media as Artillery Preparation for Spear Phishing

Social Media Preparation for Spear PhishingResearchers at ESTsecurity warn that a North Korean threat actor known as “Kumsong 121” is using compromised social media accounts to launch spear phishing attacks, the Daily NK reports. The attackers use the hacked accounts to target the victims’ acquaintances.

“After hacking an individual’s social media account, the attackers chose additional targets from the victim’s social media friends,” the Daily NK says. “The hackers lowered the guard of the target and earned their friendship by sending chat messages with friendly greetings and ordinary topics of interest or gossip. The attackers then sent an infected document file to the target through email by soliciting advice on a column related to North Korean affairs they claimed to have recently written.”

If the user opens the Word document and enables macros, their computer will be infected with malware.

The researchers note that the threat actor is also distributing mobile malware to target Android phones via malicious APK files.

“If victims install an infected Android package created by the hackers, much of their private information gets leaked, including the address books, text messages, phone records, location information, sound recordings and photos saved on their phones,” the Daily NK says.

Mun Chong Hyun, the head of the ESTsecurity Security Response Center, told the Daily NK that the threat actor has successfully compromised the phones of “well-known figures, including a certain South Korean lawmaker.”

“In particular, they often use mobile phones or email to contact you, pretending to be an acquaintance or industry expert,” he said. “When sent .apk or .doc files, the safest thing is to directly call the sender and confirm whether they are legit.”

Users should never enable macros in a Word document unless they’re absolutely certain the document is safe. New-school security awareness training can enable your employees to thwart targeted social engineering attacks.

The Daily NK has the story.

Don’t get hacked by social media phishing attacks!

Many of your users are active on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Cybercriminals use these platforms to scrape profile information of your users and organization to create targeted spear phishing campaigns in an attempt to hijack accounts, damage your organization's reputation, or gain access to your network.

KnowBe4’s Social Media Phishing Test is a complimentary IT security tool that helps you identify which users in your organization are vulnerable to these types of phishing attacks that could put your users and organization at risk.

SPT-monitorHere's how the Social Media Phishing Test works:

  • Immediately start your test with your choice of three social media phishing templates
  • Choose the corresponding landing page your users see after they click
  • Show users which red flags they missed or send them to a fake login page
  • Get a PDF emailed to you in 24 hours with your percentage of clicks and data entered

Go Phishing Now!

PS: Don't like to click on redirected buttons? Cut & Paste this link in your browser:

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