Tuesday, July 5, 2022

How Threat Actors Weaponize Your Trust - Infosecurity Magazine

Last updated Wednesday, June 22, 2022 07:30 ET , Source: NewsService

Trust is central to human relationships and we instinctively make trust evaluations all day, every day. Processed in a heartbeat, often subconsciously, these decisions guide the way we behave, the people we vote for, the businesses we deal with and the confidence we have in outcomes. Unfortunately, for all these reasons, trust is also one of the preferred weapons of any criminal. From house burglars who know villagers trust their community enough to leave windows open on hot days to confidence tricksters conning old ladies out of their life savings, trust is the weapon of choice.

Just like their analog criminal cousins, cyber-criminals abuse trust, using tactics often called ‘social engineering’ to access our digital systems and steal data in many ways. But social engineering is not the only way to abuse trust. Understanding how they capitalize on our erroneous trust decisions is the first step to defense.

The abuse of (implicit) digital trust often involves exploiting an application or tool we use in our daily digital life to perform our business or personal tasks. It is a technique increasingly used by the bad guys to carry out malicious actions such as the delivery of malware or links to phishing pages.

One of the concepts behind phishing is the weaponization of digital trust: the attackers exploit well-known brands that their victims trust and are familiar with. A tool, an application or an online service of any kind can be imitated for malicious purposes. This...

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