ACSC Releases Risk Mitigation Strategies Against Malicious Email

Original release date: August 01, 2016

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has published guidance to organizations on risks posed by malicious email. Systems infected through targeted email phishing campaigns act as an entry point for attackers to spread throughout an organization's entire enterprise, steal sensitive business or personal information, or disrupt business operations.

US-CERT encourages users and administrators to review the ACSC publication on Malicious Email Mitigation Strategies and US-CERT Alert TA15-213A for additional information.


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DNC Staffer got pop-up messages alerting of “state-sponsored actors”

An image sent by DNC staffer Alexandra Chalupa shows a warning message she received from Yahoo Mail. (credit: Alexandra Chalupa)

An e-mail message within the Wikileaks dump of Democratic National Committee data suggests that the Yahoo account of one DNC staffer may have been specifically targeted by Russian hackers. The leaked message from DNC staffer Alexandra Chalupa includes a photo of a screen displaying a pop-up alert in Yahoo Mail warning, "We strongly suspect that your account has been the target of state-sponsored actors."

"Since I started digging into [Trump campaign chairman Paul] Manafort, these messages have been a daily occurrence on my Yahoo account despite changing my password often," Chalupa reported in the message. Chalupa was looking into Manafort's work in Ukraine, where Manafort managed the campaign of former Ukraine President Viktor F. Yanukovych (who fled to Russia after violent protests against his regime) and worked with pro-Russian and Communist Party politicians forming an opposition block to the current government.

The detail, spotted by cybersecurity researcher Matt Tait and posted to the Twitter account @pwnallthethings, offers another hint at the scope of the campaign to collect intelligence on DNC operations by what appears to be Russia-based "actors" operating on the behalf of Russian intelligence. Earlier evidence collected by SecureWorks detected phishing attacks against the personal Gmail accounts of some DNC staffers as well as attacks on DNC and Clinton campaign e-mail addresses.

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Heat, population movements likely to both stress the grid

Some may like it hot, but probably not quite this hot. (credit: Climate.gov)

This summer has been particularly hot across the US, and scorching temperatures have forced most of us to take refuge somewhere with air-conditioning. This leads to high electricity demand, especially in the hottest regions. As climate change continues, we are likely to experience similar hot temperatures more frequently.

Climate change modeling also forecasts that these increased temperatures will result in increased storm intensity and flooding. These types of extreme weather-related events could have a profound impact on the population distribution, if populations shift away from regions affected by extreme storms.

Combined, the change in weather and population movement can present regional infrastructure challenges due to significant changes in electricity demand. Understanding where electricity service is most vulnerable is of utmost importance if we're going to plan ahead for these future challenges. In an investigation recently published in Nature Energy, researchers have predicted how this combination of climate and population stresses will influence electricity demand using high-resolution, spatially explicit tools.

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