Think phishing attacks only happen on HTTP sites? You’re wrong.

As phishing attacks grow increasingly sophisticated, it has become more and more difficult for users to identify a ‘phish’. Attackers employ a range of convincing techniques to lure in potential victims, and the consequences to an organization can be catastrophic.

A couple of mistaken clicks can clear a bank account, or even put an enterprise at risk of a data breach. With that in mind, how would you react if we told you that a new ‘secure’ phishing site is created once every two minutes?

50% of malicious URLs in the sample were impersonating Apple, presumably hoping that targets would be seduced by the name and disclose their credentials. Other attackers emulated the login screens of Amazon, WhatsApp and Netflix.

As you can see in the picture it’s difficult to differentiate the phishing site from the real thing. Mobile devices features a number of unique characteristics that make it a particularly fertile ground for phishing attacks; from limited screen size, making it more difficult to inspect suspicious URLs, to the on-the-go nature of the device encouraging users to be less cautious.

How can you detect and protect against attacks that are diversifying and growing more convincing by the day? Wandera Secure is one of the answers.

Machine learing 

Wandera’s advanced real-time machine learning engine, MI:RIAM, is powered by mobile device data from over two billion daily inputs. The advanced technology continuously analyzes vast feeds of information to detect and respond to new insights regarding malicious sites and other potential threats.

Combined with insight from Wandera’s threat intelligence team, MI:RIAM inspects URLs to identify if they’re malicious using advanced phishing detection techniques.

As part of Wandera’s quest to proactively monitor emerging threats, MI:RIAM listens to a live-stream of SSL certification registration events published across the web. Using this, MI:RIAM can extract information about new domains and websites in real-time.

If anything unusual is flagged, Wandera’s threat detection model can act fast and block the site at its root before an attacker has the chance to act.

HTTPS = trust?

SSL certificates are a way of digitally certifying the identity of a website. They inform the user that their personal information has been encrypted into an undecipherable format that can only be returned with the proper decryption key.

Countless cybersecurity campaigns advocate encryption and tell us that HTTPS sites are the ones to trust, so what’s the problem? Well, that’s exactly it. We perceive HTTPS sites to be secure, so we’re less likely to suspect a ‘phish’. However, with sites like making it easier to gain SSL certification, cybercriminals are using this to their advantage.

In one hour, MI:RIAM analyzed certificate registration events across the globe and out of these supposedly secure domains, MI:RIAM detected 30 phishing sites and flagged a further 18 URLs as suspicious.

Wandera continued to conduct this research this for a 24 hour period and discovered over 1150 new HTTPS phishing sites a day. And that is not including the plethora of the malicious HTTP phishing URLs that we already know exist.

Why is this so concerning? Because it marks a new generation of sophisticated cyber attack. These highly convincing phishing techniques are making it even more difficult for users to recognize the risk.

How to prevent phishing within your enterprise

There’s no simple answer to combat the ever-growing threat caused by phishing. Part of the issue is education, and part of it is infrastructure.

The fact that malicious HTTPS sites are being detected means it’s even harder for app-centric security solutions to realize that important data has been given to a phishing site, as the data is encrypted. It’s imperative to have full visibility into where your data is being sent if you should take the bait.

Wandera has built the only technology that can automatically detect, alert and block traffic to mobile phishing sites in real-time. The Secure Mobile Gateway provides full visibility into all the data being sent to and from the device at all times, preventing attackers from getting their hands on your personal information.

Be well protected start your Free Trial and download Wandera Secure today. Get started here.

If you’d like more information about how to protect your enterprise against phishing attacks, book an appointment with one of our mobility experts.