How credit unions are being targeted by spoofing attacks

by Brittany Demendi, Adlumin

Credit unions face some of the most sophisticated and financially damaging cyberattacks, with data and their customers being an adversary’s prime target. Adlumin’s Threat Research Team has been seeing an increase in credit unions as the target of brand impersonation or website spoofing. Any attack creates a snowball effect with consequences impacting an entire region.

For credit unions to protect themselves, it’s important to understand how customers are targeted and what they can do about it. The Adlumin Security Operations Platform and Managed Detection and Response Services offer expert-led, enterprise-grade security tailored to your size and budget.

Let’s dive into the types of threats that credit unions experience, so you can better prepare and protect your organization and customers.

What is Spoofing?

A popular way cybercriminals target smaller credit unions is through spoofing. Spoofing is a scam where cybercriminals impersonate a company with a fake email address, display name, text message, or website URL to convince a target that they are a trusted, well-known source from the company. It can be as simple as changing one letter, symbol, or number in a communication that is difficult to spot. The benefit of spoofing for cybercriminals is that customers will likely disclose financial and personal information, download malware, wire funds, and more.

Below are a few types of spoofing attacks:

  • Email Spoofing: This technique is one of the most common types where cybercriminals send an email posing as a trusted source. They usually ask for an urgent request or attempt to lure the target to click a malicious link or attachment.
  • Domain or Website Spoofing: These attacks aim to lure users into logging into their accounts on the fake website or exposing other personal information about themselves. The cybercriminals then can use the stolen credentials to log into the actual account on the real website.
  • Caller ID Spoofing: Similar to email spoofing, caller ID alters the phone number to show up as someone familiar to the target they are calling. For example, they can pose as a customer service representative from their bank and attempt to gather personal information like their banking credentials, social security number, etc.
  • Text Message Spoofing: This technique targets a person via text message posing as a trusted source like their bank or a friend. They substitute the sender ID with a recognizable source and use the text message as a springboard for data theft, spear phishing, and scams.

The reality is that credit unions are being targeted, as well as employees. Implementing a Proactive Security Awareness Program aims to empower users with skills to identify and report suspicious activity, including emails, texts, or website links. People are the first line of defense for any organization, and when they are equipped with cybersecurity awareness, it will only propel their security posture.

Credit Unions are Targets for Domain Spoofing

Cybercriminals are still targeting credit unions’ IT environments and are going after their customers by making fraudulent copies of websites and setting up domains that look close to the original institution. Customers are targeted mainly because they are likely to fall victim, and it is an easier tactic for cybercriminals. They drive traffic to the dupe website by targeting the customers of that credit union via phishing emails, text messages, or social media.

For example, Adlumin’s Threat Research Team recently saw an incident where a small financial institution was the victim of domain spoofing. The cybercriminal created a dupe website of that regional bank and lured customers to it via social media. They reached out to customers letting them know that they won a prize in hopes that they to click on the link and fill out their information.

Credit Unions and Threat Intelligence

Implementing Adlumin’s Security Operations Platform with threat intelligence monitoring attacker trends and tactics can help with spoofing. Threat intelligence enables organizations to stay one step ahead of malicious actors by providing the latest spoofing trends and techniques.

Adlumin’s Threat Research Team hunts for abnormal activity indicating network compromise. They can also assist with remediating spoofing attacks by identifying the fraudulent domains and working with web host providers to remove the websites to minimize the damage.

In addition, they can help you understand who your adversary is to defend against threats better coming your way. This solution can help elevate strains on internal teams and proactively extend security surveillance.

Contact an expert or request a demo for more information about extending your security team 24/7.

Contact Adlumin

Contact Adlumin