There has been a notable escalation in phishing attacks in2016, according to a new report from the Anti-Phishing Working Group(APWG). It noted that there have been more phishing attacks during the thefirst quarter of this year, “than at any other time in history”.

 

There was a huge spike in phishing activity between October2015 and March 2016, with incidents rising by a massive 250%, the studyhighlighted.

 

“We always see a surge in phishing during the holidayseason, but the number of phishing sites kept going up from December into thespring of 2016,” commented Greg Aaron, a senior research fellow at APWG and vice-president ofthe iThreat Cyber Group.

 

“The sustained increase into 2016 shows phishers launchingmore sites, and is cause for concern.”

 

Phishing is a tactic used by cybercriminals and fraudstersto secure sensitive information from people. Deceptive emails, texts andinstant messaging alerts – to name but a few – are sent to potential victimsencouraging them to hand over their data.

 

The fraudulentmessaging often looks and sounds authentic. Interestingly, as the authors ofthe paper state, phishing attacks are increasingly more aggressive. Forexample, keyloggers have been a notable feature in attacks in 2016, used to“target specific information and organizations”.

 

The authors of the report also touched upon the growingthreat posed by ransomware. As with phishing, the attacks have demonstrated amore aggressive streak.

 

“The threat space continues to expand despite the bestefforts of industry, government and law enforcement,” observed PeterCassidy, co-founder and secretary general of the APWG.

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In this series of blog posts we examine the most commonforms of phishing attacks and appropriate countermeasures to protect bothindividuals and organizations – in this post we explore Business EmailCompromise and the potential fall-out for executives.

 

Business Email Compromise

 

At the start of 2016, the FBI warned that it had seen a 270%increase in CEO scams, also known as Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams.

 

With these scams, savvy cyber criminals are taking the timeto harvest personal information and learn the processes within a company. Oncearmed with this information, they target carefully selected employees with aspear phishing email designed to get access to confidential businessinformation or transfer money into an unknown account.

 

Companies that have recently fallen victimto this kind of criminal fraud include:

 

- Ubiquiti Networks – thefinance department was targeted by a fraudulent request from an outside entitythat resulted in $46.7 million being transferred to an overseas account held byexternal third parties after an employee was impersonated.

- Mattel – afinance executive wired more than $3 million to the Bank of Wenzhou after the‘new CEO’ requested a vendor payment. According to reports, Mattel quicklyrealized that it had been victim of a fraudulent request and worked withChinese authorities to get the money back.

- FACC – theAustrian aircraft parts maker, whose customers included Airbus, Boeing andRolls-Royce, reported that they had fired their chief executive after cybercriminals stole €50 million ($55.7 million) in an email scam.

 

Agari research found that more than 85% of spear phishingattacks are enabled by legitimate cloud services, and the majority do notcontain a malicious link or attachment, which make them a lot harder to detect.

 

BEC Countermeasures

 

A multi-pronged approach is required to counter these typesof targeted attacks:

1. Strengthen Internal Processes – To counter the threat ofthis type of attack, organizations must introduce policies that ensure that noone person or single email can authorize transactions. Instead, there needs tobe a mixture of communication channels verifying any request for confidentialor financial information.

2. Multi-Layered Approach – There is not a single solutionavailable that can solve the breadth of the email security problem. What’sneeded is multiple controls – a cocktail of complementary solutions that providesa multi-layered approach to cyber security where prevention, early detection,attack containment, and recovery measures are considered collectively.

3. Establish Per-message Authenticity – Organizations need asolution that considers sophisticated data science and email securityintelligence in order to reinstill trust into the email ecosystem and establishthe ‘true’ identity of an email’s sender.

 

Download Agari’s executive brief on the Top Phishing Attacksof 2016 to learn more about best practices to stopping phishing attacks.

 

You can also check out the other posts inthe Top Phishing Scams series:

 

- Ransomware

- Data Breach of Employee Information

- Consumer Email Fraud

- Hacktivism

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Is the Forex Hoster VPS a scam? This is a service thatallows users to upload their own Forex scripts, indicators and especiallyExpert Advisors that they want to run 24/7. FX Hoster hosts the back end thatusers have access to in order to upload these files.

 

Forex Hoster is a Forex Vps MetaTrader & Expert AdvisorHosting for Forex Traders. This gives you the ability to view, manage and tradein real-time through your broker, and host live or demo Expert Advisors. ForexHoster servers are part of a larger grid, that uses various and accuratemanagement systems to make sure that each client has access to the Internet,and is up and running as needed. Free expert advice is assigned to you once yousign up for an account.

 

Advantages of Hosting ForexExpert Advisors on a Virtual Private Server like Forex Hoster

 

Since the FX Hoster is 100% Unix based and does not useWindows technology, it is immune to the spyware, malware and viruses that willinfect Microsoft environment systems. This independence of Microsoft systems bythe software means that I am assured that my trading activities will have nochance of being negatively sabotaged by these viruses and malware.

 

Generally, when I use a Forex trading robot, I want toensure that my robot can run as smoothly as possible and eliminate the chancesof interrupting it, and you should do this too if you are using Forex ExpertAdvisors.

 

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The reality is that many of the newer Expert Advisors suchas PipZu and Forex Detector are making use of trend adapting technology. Thismeans that they really do need a 24 hour connection to the markets so that theycan properly analyse the trends and trade at the right times.

 

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With all the safety and powerful features that FX Hoster hasprovided me with, I must say that the membership fee for joining has been wellworth the money, and I highly recommend Forex robot users to try it.

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International Financial SecuritiesRegulatory Commission Regulation on the application ofInternational Financial Reporting Standards

The objective of adopting International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is to standardisecompanies’ financial reporting so that:

 

- financial statements are more transparent and comparable;

- the EU capital market and the single market can operateefficiently.

 

To achieve this objective, Regulation (EC) No 1606/2002 wasadopted (the “IAS Regulation” or Regulation on the application of International Financial Reporting Standards). Thescope of the IAS Regulation is as follows:

 

- Basic rule – IFRS shall be applied to the consolidatedfinancial statements of EU companies whose securities are traded on a regulatedEU market.

- Discretionary application – EU countries can opt to extendthe use of IFRS to annual financial statements and non-listed companies aswell.

 

A dedicated endorsement process was established togetherwith new consultative and advisory organisations (ARC and EFRAG).

 

IFRSs are adopted by the EU in the form of regulations,which are published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Regulationsare directly applicable in all Member States.

 

The International Financial SecuritiesRegulatory Commission was established to promote investorconfidence in the securities and capital markets by providing more structureand government oversight.

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P. T. Barnum is credited for giving us the adage: A sucker is born every day. In fact, itdoes not have to be April Fool’s Day for both sides of the deal (the fool andthe fooled) to sprout like mushrooms after the thunderstorm. And since Aprilbrings both rain and brain-drain, it is quite appropriate that it is alsoFinancial Literacy Month. The Financial industry Regulatory Authority(FINRA) provides five tips to inform investors on how to protect their moneyfrom fraudsters. 

 

Gerry Walsh, the Senior VP of Investor Education at FINRA,said, “April Fool’s Day comes only once a year when people play on each otherfor fun. But fraudsters go about their practice all-year-round to fool peopleout of serious money; and, to really begin having fun and keep your money aswell, make sure we know how to become more informed investors.”

 

Hereare some tips:

1.      Get to know the people you transact with. Bevery choosy when it comes to picking a financial advisor, clearlyexplaining your financial goals and requirements, the types of individuals orfirms you can feel you are comfortable working with. Get referrals from yourassociates and friends and do the dirty job of interviewing a chosen few youbelieve will satisfy your standards. Ask as many questions as you can: forexample, if they have had experience dealing with people who have similar needsas yours; do some background investigations; ask how they want to be paid andif they charge other fees and additional expenses for doing certain relatedtasks. Make sure you work only with people who are duly registered and alsolook up their employment and regulatory track records. To facilitate this step,you can do a quick and easy check with BrokerCheck® for free.

 

2.     Learn how to collaborate effectively with yourfinancial advisor. Be honest and transparent about your investment goals andthe risk level you can handle. Do an in-depth study before entering into aninvestment contract. Keep in mind that reading the sales brochures orpromotional materials is not enough. Strive to gain a full comprehension of theinvestment or strategy by inquiring about all possible benefits and risks—aswell as how the investment will work out to obtain your objectives. Always keepa watchful eye on your account, as well as on fees, statements of account andtransaction validations. Be careful of sales pitches that contain unrealisticpromises about productivity or guaranteed profits.

 

 

3.     Learn the various kinds of investments and howthey can help you attain your financial objectives. Each type possesses its ownunique features, liquidity, costs, risk levels and use. Consequently, inquireabout these aspects and think of how you can combine them effectively tomaximize rewards. You can accomplish this task by assuring that you have aworking knowledge about bonds, stocks, bank products, investment funds andothers for specific uses, such as college or retirement savings. Always readfirst and comprehend everything you can about a product’s features andrequirements before investing in it or signing a contract.

 

4.     Watch out for danger signs pointing tofraudulent deals. In particular, take note of too consistent profits,guarantees, intricate schemes, unregistered products, incomplete records,account inconsistencies and very persistent sales personnel. Most financialadvisors can be trusted; still, you might encounter a few who will abuse yourtrust upon them. Learn how to determine how con artists work in their game andkeep a healthy dose of skepticism.

 

5.     Never be shy about asking questions. In case youforgot the last tip we mentioned, recite this mantra as if you were home alonelike Macaulay Culkin: This is MY MONEY and I will protect it withall my life! Do not bother about how others may think of you because everyquestion you have is a valid inquiry of a person who wants to learn. Ask how aproduct works, what bad thing can happen to it, how much it can make at themost, if it is a duly-registered product, if you can sell it readily and at anytime, how does a seller make money, and others. If any of your queries are notsatisfactorily answered, simply say "No". Only a fool risks his orher money without the proper assurances.

                                                   

For more information on investments and the latest InvestorAlerts, sign up for Investor News.

 

Interested investors can get more information on thedisciplinary record of any FINRA-registered broker or brokerage company byutilizing FINRA'sBrokerCheck for free. In 2015, as many as 71 million reviews of broker or firmrecords were conducted using this free service. Investors can accessBrokerCheck by visiting www.finra.org/brokercheck or by calling (800) 289-9999.Investors can browse the site to obtain copies of disciplinary actions and herdisciplinary records in FINRA's Disciplinary Actions Online database. They canalso get in touch with FINRA's Securities Helpline for Seniors at (844)57-HELPS for further assistance or to make inquiries about any concern theyhave with their investments and brokerage accounts.

 

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority(FINRA) is recognized as the biggest independent securities regulation agencyfor all firms operating in the United States. FINRA commits to safeguard theinterests of the investor as well as the integrity of the securities marketthrough efficient regulation and appurtenant compliance and technology-basedsystems. FINRA covers substantially every aspect of the securities market –beginning with registration and education of all industry players to evaluationof securities companies, writing regulations, enforcement of such regulationsand the federal securities laws, and the education of the investing public ingeneral. Moreover, FINRA conducts investigations and other regulatory tasks forequities and options markets, including trade updates and other relatedindustry services. Finally, FINRA serves as the main administrator forresolutions of disputes for investors and securities firms.

 

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K I Wootalks to the American founder of eAngelz.comwho is introducing networking dot.com soirees to Bangkok.

An Americanimpresario who hosted countless high-tech get togethers in California more thana decade ago is now introducing his trademark dot.com schmoozing sessions toBangkok.

Thesehigh-tech get togethers allow fledgling dot.com entrepreneurs to sip wine coolersand munch hor-doeuvres with financial angels, major network and computerinfrastructure suppliers, as well as important business consultants.

In the pastyear, Landy Eng, who was CNBC business show Driven’s host, launchedeAngelz.com, his dot.com website and dot.com get-togethers in Singapore.

Now withcorporate headhunter Korn Ferry Thailand’s support, Eng is launching his firstBangkok eAngelz get together on Tuesday, May 9 at the Sukhothai Hotel.

“We haveinvited many of this country’s top financiers, equipment and network companyofficials, consultants and dot.commers,” Eng said.

eAngelzget-togethers, Eng said are unique functions, which provide a comfortable venuefor the new economy’s sometimes disparate groups, who normally do not get together.At eAngelz-like parties, these disparate groups meet each other at an informalget together and ferret out what is happening in a fast-changing environment.“Many deals are made from contacts at these functions,” he said.

Eng saidthat he expects about 30 per cent of the first eAngelz party’s guests inBangkok will be fledgling dot.commers looking for technical and financialpartners. “Twenty per cent will be financial angels and venture capitalists.The balance will be equipment and network providers, consultants and themedia,” he said.

Leadingheadhunter Korn Ferry Thailand will sponsor eAngelz first event in Thailand .“We are very happy to be hosting e-commerce and dot.com leaders, who I’m surewill be driving this country’s future growth,” said Edwin Sim, Korn Ferry’s managingdirector in Thailand .

InCalifornia’s Silicon Valley , where high-tech parties first began in themid-1980’s, Eng said the events were mainly attended by high-tech engineerslooking to exchange technical information. However, as the years went by,investors, equipment and network suppliers, and consultants discovered that“angels” parties were a convenient and efficient way to discover the next newhot entrepreneur.

Here inAsia, Eng said eAngels parties, particular the ones in Singapore , have becomea very efficient way for all groups in the new e-economy to meet and exchangeideas on a regular basis. “Equipment and network suppliers can come and usuallymeet about 20 or 30 new dot.commers in one night,” he said.

At the sametime, dot.commers also realizes tremendous benefits from these events. “Notonly will they meet technical people who supply the latest infrastructuralequipment, but they may also meet financial “angels” who may want to fund theirnew idea,” he said.

Eng predictsthat eAngelz dot.com parties will be equally as successful in Thailand .

Korn Ferry’sSim told The Nation that representative of some of the top private equity fundsand top investors in this country will all be attending the event. “They’ve alltold me they are looking forward to such an event in Thailand,”

He addedthat many of his multinational clients are expressing an acute interest in anyevents, which will help them, better understand the fast-moving new e-commerceeconomy.

Many KornFerry multinational clients, Sim said are always looking to learn frominnovative new business ideas created by dot.commers. “The eAngelz gettogethers are an ideal venue and we’re just delighted to have been given theopportunity to bring the idea to Thailand ,” Sim said.

It promisesto be a groundbreaking event for this country’s dot.comming future.

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