Connect with us

TECHNOLOGY

You’ve Got Spam Mail: APAC accounts for a quarter of global malicious emails in 2022

September 7, 2022 2:05 p.m.

Spam mails have evolved since the first one was sent back in 1978. Its evolutions span from the techniques, tactics, and the latest trends cybercriminals piggyback on to make it more legitimate-looking and urgent-sounding – an effective formula to prey upon an unsuspecting user.

One of Kaspersky’s elite researchers, Noushin Shabab, probed into the spam threat landscape in Asia Pacific (APAC) this year to answer – what if emails do not get opened?

Shabab, presented in front of selected media from the region during Kaspersky’s 8th APAC Cyber Security Weekend, revealed that the region received 24% of the global malicious spam mails being detected and blocked by Kaspersky solutions. This means one in four junk electronic messages were delivered to computers in APAC.

Noushin Shabab, Senior Security Researcher for Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) at Kaspersky  

Malicious spam is not a technologically complex attack, but when done with sophisticated social engineering techniques, it poses a severe threat to individuals and enterprises alike. These junk mails are sent out in mass quantities by spammers and cybercriminals who are looking to do one or more of the following:

  • Make money from the small percentage of recipients that actually respond to the message
  • Run phishing scams – in order to obtain passwords, credit card numbers, bank account details, and more
  • Spread malicious code onto recipients’ computers

In 2022, more than half (61.1%) of the malicious spam detected in the region targeted Kaspersky users from Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, and Taiwan.

Shabab cited three main factors which cause the bulk of spam emails targeting APAC —- its population, the high adoption of e-services, and the pandemic lockdowns.

The APAC region has almost 60% of the world’s population and this means that there are more potential victims for scammers here compared to other parts of the world. The extensive use of online services such as online shopping and other online platforms for day-to-day activities here also makes individuals more susceptible to falling victim to scams. There is also the lingering pandemic aftermath which led to lockdowns and work-from-home set up in the region where people took their work computers home. Home networks are usually less protected from cyberattacks.

“Since 2018, the number of malicious spam mails detected by our solutions has seen a gradual decline after its peak in 2019. This, however, does not equate to our mailboxes being cleaner and safer. Our constant monitoring of the current and new Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) operating in Asia Pacific showed that majority of these notorious threat actors use targeted phishing called spear phishing to crack into an organization’s systems,” reveals Noushin Shabab, Senior Security Researcher for Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) at Kaspersky.

The most recent example of an APT targeting key entities in APAC through sophisticated malicious mails is the “Sidewinder” threat actor.  Since October 2021, the Sidewinder threat actor has been using new malicious JS code with recently created C2 server domains. The attacker, also known as Rattlesnake or T-APT4, targets victims with spear-phishing emails containing malicious RTF and OOXML files.

Known for targeting military, defense and law enforcement agencies, foreign affairs, IT, and aviation entities in Central and South Asia, Sidewinder is considered one of the most prolific threat actors monitored in the APAC region. Kaspersky experts also recently found spear phishing documents which appear to be aimed at future targets in Singapore.

Some of the main characteristics of this threat actor that make it stand out among the others are the sheer number, high frequency and persistence of their attacks, and the large collection of encrypted and obfuscated malicious components used in their operations. Kaspersky experts, who have been monitoring Sidewinder since 2012, have detected over a thousand spear phishing attacks by this APT actor since October 2020.

Sidewinder also continues to expand its victimology and to sharpen its phishing tactics.

For instance, to reduce the suspicion raised by some of their spear-phishing documents that had no text content, the group followed their first attempt to attack the victim – a spear-phishing email containing a malicious RTF exploit file – with another similar email, but in this case, the title of the malicious document was “_Apology Letter.docx”, and it contained some text explaining that the previous email was sent in error and that they are reaching out to apologize for that mistake.

“There are many more well-oiled APT groups like Sidewinder who are constantly upgrading their tools and tactics to target high-profile victims in APAC through believable spam and phishing emails. The implication for enterprises and government organizations here is that a single malicious email when clicked can crumble your most sophisticated defenses, and usually, APTs like Sidewinder just need one door to open, one machine to infect, and then it can hide and stay undetected for long,” Shabab adds.

APTs target any sensitive data; one doesn’t need to be a government agency, major financial institution, or energy company to become a victim.

The major danger of APT attacks is that even when they are discovered and the immediate threat appears to be gone, the hackers may have left multiple backdoors open that allow them to return when they choose. This increases the importance of guarding mailboxes – an entry point they usually exploit to get a foothold of an organization’s networks.

Employees across all ranks need to be aware of the threats, such as the possibility of bogus emails landing in their inboxes. Besides education, technology that focuses on email security is necessary.

To be able to search for potential spear-phishing signs without diminishing the company’s actual security, Kaspersky suggests private and public companies to install protective anti phishing solutions on mail servers as well as on employee workstations.

Enterprises should also utilize advanced security software that can detect sophisticated APT attacks.

For governments, Shabab suggests defining better spam regulations to curb spam risks. “Fewer spam emails from legitimate organizations means people are less used to receiving unexpected emails every day and are more vigilant when they are being targeted with malicious spear phishing emails,” she adds.

TECHNOLOGY

Paving the way for young security innovators: Kaspersky’s open call for Secur’IT Cup ’22

September 26, 2022 3:04 p.m.

Kaspersky announces an open call for Secur’IT Cup ’22 – the international competition for talented motivated students, and young researchers seeking to change the world of technology by enhancing its security.

With the increasing penetration of digital technology into our lives, the question of how to make them serve our needs without putting our privacy and data at risk remains. In the same way technology rapidly develops, the cybersecurity industry needs to keep pace by offering valid solutions to deal with security challenges.

For the fifth year, Kaspersky is launching its international Secur’IT Cup ’22. Our goal is to support young talent, enabling them to bring innovation to the world of cybersecurity and to turn bright ideas into real solutions that could help solve issues in its landscape.

This year, the contest offers three key areas requiring new solutions:

  • Mobile secure – develop a mobile and smart-watch security project to help people around the world protect their privacy and personal data from mobile attacks and cybercrimes.
  • Router security – offer new security solutions to protect the “brain” of the IoT, which manages entire networks of devices either for large industrial plants or at home.
  • Chess anti-cheating – provide players of a popular chess game with proper detection to protect them from unfair playing.

Kaspersky has been continuously supporting chess development, including its further advancement in the digital space and its expansion to online tournaments.

In addition, this year company has a special category: Family Care, with dedicated sections covering different security aspects: 

  • The “Elderly Care” section: security projects that can be related to internet security, a health tracker and any other relevant issues for the elderly.
  • The “Pet Care” section: for security projects related to both domestic and homeless pets, related to their safety, health, care and other aspects.
  • The “Finance for family” section: for security projects on financial planning, a cost tracker or any other aspects related to the control of finances for the whole family or for some family members.

“This year marks the 5th anniversary of the Secur’IT cup that, we can say for sure, has reached its adulthood, and our team is very proud of the project that has already united more 6,000 participants!

A substantial innovation we’ve initiated last year -and continue in 2022- is to add socially responsible categories to our scope. We think it really is important not only to look for solutions for technological issues in cybersecurity, but also to contribute to building awareness of how cybersecurity solutions may influence the lives of vulnerable groups of people. We hope to keep up this pace in future! And wish all our participants creativity, innovative thinking and to make the best out of their experience as they engage in our competition,” says Evgeniya Russkikh, Academic Affairs Group Manager at Kaspersky Academy.

Online registration for the competition closes on 7th November 2022. After that, participants will have two weeks more, until 20th November 2022, to submit a detailed project description or research abstract, and project prototype. An expert jury consisting of industry experts and a Kaspersky team will consider all the projects and select a shortlist for the final. Entrants can participate individually or in teams. In addition, the Kaspersky Academy will organize a series of local events in Asia Pacific, Russia and CIS, and META region to help students get involved in the global competition easily. Dates for these events to be announced later.

The final event will take place online on 14th December 2022 and the winner will be awarded $10,000. Second place winners will receive cover of the professional certification of their choice (i.e. CISSP, CISA, CISM, etc.). Those in third place will be given the opportunity to attend a professional course of their choice on one of the global MOOC-platforms.

Detailed information about the application procedure and deadlines for Secur’IT Cup ’22 can be found on the competition’s official website.

Continue Reading

TECHNOLOGY

WIKO launches dew digital series WIKO 10

September 25, 2022 7:21 p.m.

Unleashing your full potential with the WIKO 10, the smartphone for modern entertainment. WIKO is a French-origin brand that strives to shape the future of entertainment through the amalgamation of aesthetic design and technology.

WIKO 10 aims to bring a smooth user experience with distinctive features and elegant designs to customers all over the world, together with the launch of WIKO Buds 10, providing users with a seamless music journey with its advanced Bluetooth 5.2 technology and up to 30 hours of playback time with a charging case. 

The WIKO 10 is the inaugural smartphone of WIKO’s new digital series. Representing the fusion of aesthetic design and advanced technology, WIKO 10 offers a novel experience with its impeccable design that speaks French elegance in the language of technology and serves as the modern-day accessory for the Generation Z digital natives.

Customers can enjoy using the WIKO 10 with its top features including a 6.74-inch large screen and 90.69% screen-to-body ratio for immersive video viewing, a 5000mAh battery with 22.5W WIKO SuperCharge and reverse charging supporting intensive usage throughout the day, a 128GB large storage to store everything on the phone, and 50MP Triple AI camera with versatile camera functions that was catered for recording beautiful moments in life. It is a highly functional device, meanwhile a masterpiece bewitching to the eyes.

WIKO 10 is specifically created for young users who are stylish, trendy, tech-savvy, and passionate about expressing their individuality. It offers them a flawless experience with a fresh and elegant design that reflects the latest trends among Generation Z and accessorizes their everyday look with style. With the one-of-a-kind designs that reflect the latest trend among younger generations and their predilection for the individuality of product appearance, WIKO 10 reinvigorates the design with unique personality.

WIKO wants to make smartphones à la mode accessible to all. Our users worldwide tell us that they love the French aesthetics conveyed by our products, and these phones help to showcase their favor in simplicity, elegance, freedom and enthusiasm.

Distinctive Finishes with Iconic Colors

WIKO 10 has three options of stunning finishes: Klein Blue, Silver and Black.The iconic Klein Blue creates a stark visual contrast with the environment, showcasing the personal style and individuality of its owner. The alluring Silver resembles ashen hues of classic European architecture like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, where Black is a ray of bright light which disrupts the tranquil yet mystique pitch-black night, colliding decorative art with architectural structures. WIKO 10 is all you need to garner the attention of the crowd.

Photo of WIKO 10 in iconic Klein Blue, Silver and Black

Impressive Visual Display with Refined Designs

WIKO 10 is a fabulous smartphone designed for immersive entertainment experiences and incredible visual enjoyment brought by its 6.74-inch 20:9 large full-screen LCD. The incredible 90.69% screen-to-body ratio is exceptionally competitive compared to other smartphones at the same price level. It also supports 16.7 million colors and a resolution of 720*1600, while the pixel density can reach 260PPI.

Aside from its mesmerizing colors, WIKO 10 features a 6-layer optical texture design. By virtue of the emergency of the fuselage materials, not only does it enlarge the reflective surface of a crystal and heighten its brilliance, but it also ensures a fingerprint-proof and dirt-proof surface with its strong hydrophobic capability. As for the thickness, WIKO attempts to visually lessen the width of the phone with a light and matte integrated surface of the middle frame. It also combines the fingerprint sensor and power switch, which is an optimum choice of design, both functionally and aesthetically.

The embedded rear cameras are typically destructive of the aesthetics of a traditional smartphone design, yet it asserts character and individuality at the same time. WIKO 10 innovates on its original design, resulting in a complex yet sleek aesthetic that represents a more vivid individuality expression.

Versatile camera to capture the best moments

With WIKO 10’s 50 MP Triple AI Camera, users can capture portraits which equate with high-quality studio pictures with a mere tap of their finger. To begin with, the 50MP Triple AI camera can bring you fine details with its 50 MP resolution, f/1.8 aperture, 1/2.76-inch JN1 sensor that has a unit pixel area of 0.64μm. Photos of high color fidelity and resolution are guaranteed. The Smart HDR feature with its fusion of double exposures brings you a well-balanced photo in detail even in backlighting environments. Moreover, users can take bokeh portraits based on the 5-layer imaging optimization algorithm. For fashionistas and selfie addicts, WIKO 10 has an 8MP high-definition f/2.0 front camera, its natural beauty algorithm allows them to confidently take beautiful selfies.

Top-tier Battery and Storage Performance

One of the most attractive features of WIKO 10 is the 22.5W WIKO SuperCharge. After charging for 10 minutes, users are able to watch videos for two hours. Besides its fast-charging ability and large battery capacity, WIKO 10 also supports wireless reverse-charging for other devices. A quick 10-min reverse-charging can cover 40% of a headset or 25% of a sports bracelet’s full power, which only takes up 1-2% power cost of WIKO 10.

Moreover, WIKO 10 provides users with the most carefree experience ever, a multi-stage overheating current control mechanism is incorporated, so gamers will no longer fret about overheating pauses after a whole day of usage. Together with a large and sustainable 5000mAh battery as well as a storage space of 128GB and 4GB RAM, it guarantees a long-lasting phone running from morning till night and more virtual memory, faster loading speeds and minimum lagging.

Updated OS, For an Updated Experience

Android 12 delivers an even more personal, effortless, and safer experience for your device. Featuring a comprehensively reimagined UI that can be personalized to your liking, as well as new privacy features designed to grant you total safety without taking control away from your hands

WIKO Buds 10 – endless music journey

Alongside the launch of WIKO 10 smartphone, WIKO is also presenting WIKO Buds 10, a set of earbuds with advanced Bluetooth 5.2 technology powered by BES to ensure instant and stable connectivity, capable of producing stereo and deep bass loud sound. Offering a maximum operating time of 6 hours from a single charge and up to 30 hours with the charging case, WIKO Buds 10 allows users to enjoy an endless music journey. Users can now surround themselves with flowing melodies and dive into the world of music without noises. Embracing positive vibes brought by your favourite songs in daily life with WIKO Buds 10.

In an innovative upgrade, WIKO Buds 10 has adapted the 12 mm dynamic driver, allowing for the delivery of high-quality audio with a clear separation between vocal and instrument, while still upholding a design geared towards users’ comfort. A combination of dual mics for voice capturing and ENC noise cancelling algorithm support also effectively filters out noises from the surrounding, granting a crystal-clear voice chat and calling experience. Beyond all, being designed for exercising and entertainment, WIKO Buds 10 possesses both high durability and IPX4 water resistance protects from splashing water, and still only weighs 4.2g.

WIKO Buds 10

Price and Availability

WIKO 10 will be available from September 25, 2022 for P8,990 at Shopee, Lazada, and authorized WIKO stores and kiosks.

WIKO Buds 10 will be available from September 25, 2022 for P1,499 at Shopee, Lazada, and authorized WIKO stores and kiosks.

See full pricing and availability below:

For more information, please visit:https://world.wikomobile.com/

Continue Reading

TECHNOLOGY

Infinix’ 5G capable gaming smartphone will be launched soon in PH

September 20, 2022 5:46 p.m.

Filipinos who want to experience the mind-blowing speeds of 5G internet, especially in their online gaming, won’t have to look far for an affordable option now—Infinix is set to launch the NOTE 12 PRO 5G in the Philippines this September 25.

With the NOTE 12 PRO 5G, an upgrade to the highly popular NOTE 12, the hot emerging smartphone brand looks to take gaming to peak performance in the Philippines by packing the device with #5GSmoothGameplay connectivity thanks to its 6nm 5G processor. 

The capability for blazing-fast mobile internet adds to an already impressive feature list, which includes its 13GB SUPER RAM that superbly handles any game or app, 108MP rear camera for crisp images and video, an AMOLED FHD display for stunning and dazzling visuals onscreen, a 5000mAh battery and 33W fast charge for all-day performance, and a Monster Game Kit for the full mobile gaming experience.

The NOTE 12 PRO 5G will be available nationwide on September 26, with an exclusive Lazada sale from September 27 to 29 where it will retail at a special promo price.

Grab your own NOTE 12 PRO 5G later this month on the official Infinix kiosk and concept store nationwide, LazadaShopee, and TikTok Shop, and see what peak gaming performance with 5G feels like! For more updates and info on the NOTE 12 PRO 5G, follow Infinix’s Facebook Page and website!

Continue Reading