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Spear Phishing on the Rise, but Help is on the Way!

spear phishing

A white paper released by PIXM highlights an alarming trend in cyberattacks targeting school districts across the United States. This document uncovers a significant uptick in spear phishing campaigns over the last two months, orchestrated by two notorious threat groups known as Tycoon and Storm-1575.

The Rising Threat Landscape

These groups, known for their sophistication, have been actively involved in deploying Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) phishing attacks. They employ "Attack in The Middle" (AiTM) tactics to capture MFA codes and session cookies, meticulously crafting attacks to mirror the exact login experiences of their targets. The intention? To bypass the MFA safeguards that many believe to be impenetrable. Notably, the Tycoon and Storm-1575 campaigns are emblematic of a broader trend: the evolution of Phishing-as-a-Service (PhaaS). Through platforms like dadsec and phishingkit, these groups offer a suite of tools enabling attackers to customize attacks with frightening precision, targeting individuals based on their roles within the organization, particularly those in HR and finance.

Understanding the Impact

The implications of such targeted attacks are profound. Beyond the immediate risk of credential theft, these campaigns open the door to further malicious activities, including the potential installation of trojans and ransomware. Such breaches can devastate the integrity of a school district's digital infrastructure, leading to significant financial and reputational damage.

In light of these developments, it's clear that traditional cybersecurity measures are no longer sufficient. Use training relies on humans to consistently absorb and apply training that isn’t core to their role. Content filters are important, but they do not catch zero-day (novel or new) attacks. The white paper strongly advocates for the adoption of advanced, AI-powered detection tools capable of thwarting these sophisticated attacks. This is where Identity Automation's PhishID program comes into play. PhishID leverages advanced AI algorithms to detect and neutralize phishing attempts in real-time, offering a robust layer of protection against the sophisticated tactics employed by groups like Tycoon and Storm-1575. By integrating PhishID into your district's cybersecurity framework, you empower your staff with the tools they need to recognize and avoid these threats, thereby safeguarding your district's digital ecosystem.

Identity Automation is Answering the Call

Last year, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency offered crucial guidance to districts last year to elevate their cybersecurity defense practices. Part of this guidance was a call to action by education technology providers to help districts improve their cyber defense posture by signing the Secure by Design Pledge, as well as offering protection at no cost to districts in order to alleviate the budget pressure and speed the time to deploy defensive measures. 

Identity Automation is stepping up. We are launching a new program for K12 SIX members that provides the most innovative and proven phishing protection available to all US districts. 

Recognizing the urgent need for enhanced phishing protection within K-12 school districts, Identity Automation is proud to offer PhishID to safeguard full-time employee accounts from these increasingly common attacks. Our initiative to provide PhishID free of charge for full-time employee accounts stems from a commitment to the education sector's security and well-being.

Join Us in Securing Our Schools - Sign Your District Up for PhishID

The time to act is now. We invite K-12 school districts to take a proactive stance against cyber threats by joining our Phishing Protection Program. Together, we can create a safer digital environment for our educators and administrators, ensuring the continued success and security of our educational institutions.

Protect your district against phishing attacks and take the first step towards comprehensive cybersecurity resilience. Sign up for our no cost licenses of PhishID today.

The threat landscape facing K-12 school districts is evolving, but so are the solutions. By leveraging the insights from PIXM's white paper and embracing advanced protective measures like PhishID, we can outpace these threats and secure our educational institutions' futures. Let's take action together and safeguard the integrity of our schools.