There is a tremendous number of domain names registered daily which resemble legitimate domains of brands or organizations, or whose names imply being related to a known service or product. Domains suggesting to be a “support” or “account-verification” or “support page” are also common for containing such strings. Initially, many of these are parked and some become used in malicious activities such as being sold at an inflated price to the legitimate owner, being used as botnet Command & Control servers, or in phishing campaigns to host fake pages to have the victim's sensitive data typed in and sent to the miscreants.Continue reading
Subdomains are useful as they help domain owners organize their websites. They identify specific pages on a company’s site, guiding customers and internal and external users to where they will find the information they need or product they wish to buy.
But while using subdomains indeed has advantages, it has disadvantages as well. Cybercriminals can use them for malicious campaigns that rely on subdomain takeovers, among other cyberattacks. Threat actors can also create subdomains and hide them under what seems to be totally legitimate domains to evade detection.
Subdomain-related threats are addressable, at least to some extent, with the help of a subdomain finder that enumerates the subdomains of a particular domain. This post explains how to go about it.Continue reading
Analyzing IP addresses is a strategic battlefield in the fight against cybercrime. For instance, there are a number of blacklists and blocklists available, collected with various methodologies and updated dynamically to assist the implementation of IP-based threat risk mitigation measures. Such blacklists are also interesting from a research point of view as they facilitate the study of trends, structure, and dynamics of malicious IPs.
Given a suspicious IP address or netblock, the ownership information is also of paramount importance as it contributes significantly to the knowledge of the infrastructure of potential opponents. This information can be obtained from direct WHOIS lookups. However, WHOIS services normally pose limitations on the amount and frequency of available queries. Alternatively, one can use WhoisXML APIs services. These range from a simple web form for IP WHOIS lookup through a RESTFul API through the possibility to download a comprehensive IPv4 Netblocks WHOIS database along with incremental updates. These facilitate IP WHOIS database queries, highly customized ones without limitations, and also enabling to search in historic data.
In what follows we use an IP WHOIS database set up in MySQL to analyze an actual blocklist of IPs. Our focus is on studying the share of those networks which are administered by APNIC in the blacklist, in comparison to the other RIRs, and to gain an understanding of certain behaviors.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading
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.Continue reading