According to the Washington Post, at the end of June the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security sent a joint alert to the energy sector stating that “advanced, persistent threat actors” — a euphemism for sophisticated foreign hackers — were stealing network log-in and password information to gain a foothold in company networks.
In their alert, the DHS and FBI stated that the hackers are using spearphishing emails and “watering hole” techniques to ensnare victims. A spearphish targets a user with an authentic-looking email that contains attachments or links embedded with malware. In this case, the hackers often used Microsoft Word attachments that appeared to be legitimate résumés from job applicants, the agencies said. In a watering-hole attack, an unsuspecting victim navigates to a website laced with malware, infecting his or her computer. In both cases, the adversary sought to collect victims’ log-in and password data so that they could sneak into the network and poke around.
Knowing this goes on all the time and driven by a need to protect clients against these threats is exactly the reason that Pythian always uses a privileged access management system to access client systems.
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