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This is a successful technique because hackers no longer need to include malicious links in an email, allowing them to easily bypass anti-spam and anti-virus systems.

Researchers at IT safety agency Barracuda Networks just lately analysed information on the tens of millions of attachments scanned by Barracuda programs over the previous month. They discovered nearly 21% of all HTML attachments scanned by the corporate to be malicious.

HTML attachments are generally used for electronic mail communication. These are significantly used for system-generated electronic mail experiences that customers would possibly obtain frequently. These messages embrace URL hyperlinks to the precise report. Attackers have been embedding HTML attachments in emails disguised as a weekly report, tricking customers into clicking on phishing hyperlinks. It is a profitable method as a result of hackers now not want to incorporate malicious hyperlinks in an electronic mail, permitting them to simply bypass anti-spam and anti-virus programs.

The malicious HTML attachments are getting used for credentials phishing. They embrace a hyperlink to a phishing web site, which, when opened, will get redirected to a third-party machine that requests the customers to enter their credentials to entry data or obtain a file that will include malware. Hackers don’t at all times have to create a pretend web site. They’ll create a phishing kind immediately embedded within the attachment, finally sending phishing websites as attachments as a substitute of hyperlinks.
“These assaults are troublesome to detect as a result of HTML attachments per se will not be malicious,” says Parag Khurana, nation supervisor, Barracuda Networks India.

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Attackers don’t embrace malware within the attachment, as a substitute utilizing a number of redirects with Javascript libraries hosted elsewhere. “Potential safety in opposition to these assaults ought to have in mind a whole electronic mail with HTML attachments, all redirects and analysing the content material of the e-mail for malicious intent,” he provides.

Contemplating such attachments are exhausting to establish precisely, machine studying and static code evaluation supply the most effective options to take care of them, as they consider an electronic mail to establish and block malicious HTML attachments. In the meantime, given the quantity of such assaults, customers needs to be cautious of all HTML attachments, particularly these from sources they haven’t encountered earlier than.

In case malicious emails do get by way of, it’s essential to preserve post-delivery remediation instruments able to rapidly establish and take away such emails from all person inboxes. Automated incident response may help do that rapidly earlier than assaults unfold by way of an organisation, and account takeover safety can monitor and alert the customers to suspicious account exercise if login credentials are compromised.

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