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The Ultimate Guide to Branding in 2021

If you run a business, there's never been a better time to stand out from the crowd. Still, to make sure you're at the forefront of your industry, you'll need to learn how to take a brand from concept through to execution. This guide provides the latest information you need to get your company noticed and create an identity that lasts.

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A Cyber Threat Intelligence Recap for COVID-19 in 2020

Much has been said about the COVID-19 pandemic. In many ways, it has changed the way we live, work, or simply interact with our relatives and friends. From the standpoint of cybersecurity, the pandemic also had a strong influence on how threat actors and cybercriminals created and executed all types of cyberattacks and phishing campaigns.

To illustrate, this post features a timeline of COVID-19-related cyber threats and some cyber threat intelligence found for each month of 2020.

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Social Media Phishing: Expanding the List of IoCs for Recent Facebook Page Impersonation Attacks

A few months back, security researchers noticed a spike in the volume of social media phishing attacks. Cybercriminals had been impersonating the Facebook pages of various influential personalities proactively in hopes of luring their followers into parting with their account credentials. The social media campaign focused on the Facebook pages of influencers with tons of followers.

A researcher from security firm Trend Micro believed an average of three pages were being spoofed per day. The personalities targeted were from Taiwan, India, Australia, Canada, and the Philippines.

The attackers began by stealing the target pages’ administrative account credentials. Once done, they sent a malicious link to all of the page’s followers for the potential victims to give out their own account credentials. As a common practice among phishers, the cybercriminals mimicked the pages down to their profile photos. As of August last year, 120–180 fake Facebook pages believed to be part of the campaign were seen.

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Website Categorization Explained - Complete Guide For Your Business

Great attention has been directed lately towards website categorization; a cybersecurity practice which has been around for a while, but it wasn’t until recent times that it started to be increasingly used in marketing and business.

Website categorization is, in essence, the act of putting websites related by their content and function into similar categories. With that in mind, sites like Amazon and Ebay are grouped as Ecommerce sites; CNN, BBC and the likes are classified as news sites; Twitter and Facebook are tagged as social media sites, while Reddit and Quora are Forums (Message Boards) and so on.

However, what some people might not realize is that website categorization is a totally different ball game from Search Engine Optimization and Alexa rankings. Each is different and should be approached in that light - and not be confused.

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Domain Parking and the Typosquatting Feed

In an earlier post, we described the key elements of the domain parking ecosystem and discussed the risks typically stemming from a lack of appropriate regulation of this area. In the present post, we shall conduct a particular investigation revealing the connection between typosquatting, bulk domain registrations, and domain parking, by using WhoisXML API's Typosquatting Data Feed

The Typosquatting Data Feed takes all second-level domains in all generic Top-Level Domains (TLDs) and some of the country-code TLDs that started to operate on the Internet on a given day. That is, these are newly registered or re-registered domains. It performs a lexical similarity-based clustering in search of groups of domains so that all domains in a group have similar names. Hence, the domain feed provides groups of newly registered domains that have been registered on the same day, are similarly named, and are frequently parts of bulk domain name registrations. 

We have found that these sets of domains are closely related to many illicit or semi-legal activities on the Internet that deserve attention, including typosquatting, but also phishing, malware activity, etc. In addition to that, since 1 July 2020, the data are available in an "enriched" fashion, that is, part of the WHOIS information, and the IP addresses associated with the domains are also provided. We shall see below that this is very useful. So, let us see how it relates to domain parking. 

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Company Marketing Intelligence from Subdomain DNS Records

Marketing intelligence refers to any information about a company’s market base. It not only reflects industry trends but also refers to any information about the organization’s target market, existing customers, and even competitors. In particular, 94% of companies invest in competitive intelligence, a significant part of marketing intelligence.

While there are several marketing intelligence sources in existence, one less tapped source is the Domain Name System (DNS). DNS records, such as mail exchange (MX) and TXT entries and subdomains, can help companies answer these questions:

  • What external services do competitors or key industry players use?
  • Are other industry players set to launch new products? What are these?
  • Are there potential mergers and acquisitions (M&A’s)?

In this post, we demonstrated how Subdomain DNS Record lookup tools that glean data from a DNS database could help enrich marketing intelligence.

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Domain parking: A look at the business model and cybersecurity implications

In this white paper, we describe the notion of domain parking, introduce its motivation, stakeholders, and ecosystem. We go through the main security issues it poses, discuss the detection of parked domain names, and comment on the possibility of mitigating the risk posed by them.

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WHOIS running the Internet from May 25, 2018 onwards?

The virtual space of the Internet is a relevant scene of our everyday life. And the elements of reality and their virtual counterparts – friends with social media contacts, shops and web shops, companies and websites, etc. – are becoming more and more confusable. Albeit this must have been in principle already expected by the founding fathers and mothers of the Internet, in many respects the Internet has been developing not quite as they had envisaged.

For instance, it had been clear from the very beginning that there should be a link between Internet domains and the real-life people and entities responsible for them. In the beginning, the motivation was mainly technical, of course: if something went wrong on the network, the operators needed to know whom to contact. This demand gave birth to the WHOIS protocol, a standard way to learn who is responsible for a high-level Internet domain.

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