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DHS warns of spear-phishing campaign against energy companies

Jaikumar Vijayan | April 8, 2013
The Department of Homeland Security has a warning for organizations that post a lot of business and personal information on public web pages and social media sites: Don't do it.

For instance, a massive data breach that exposed more than 3.5 million Social Security numbers at the South Carolina Department of Revenue and cost the state millions of dollars in breach notification and remediation costs, began after a single user clicked on an embedded link in a spear-phishing email.

Spear-phishing campaigns have been so successful, in fact, that there is an active underground market for email addresses and other personal data of senior corporate executives. Security vendor Webroot has a blog post today that reports on cybercriminals selling valid business card data of senior executives at numerous major companies, including Audi, Ralph Lauren, Coca-Cola, Bloomberg, Ralph Lauren and others.

The data was apparently obtained through valid business cards and included information on 508 executives of multinational firms based in Russia.


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