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SLAC Computer Security Annual Safety and Security Briefing 2006 Presenters Teresa Downey Spear Phishing & Web Security Markers Heather Larrieu Everything Else… Spear Phishing No dangerous pointy objects involved… but they ARE hunting YOU! Spear Phishing – Step by Step

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SLAC Computer Security

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slac computer security

SLAC Computer Security

Annual Safety and Security Briefing 2006

  • Teresa Downey
    • Spear Phishing & Web Security Markers
  • Heather Larrieu
    • Everything Else…
spear phishing
Spear Phishing

No dangerous pointy objects involved…

but they ARE hunting YOU!

spear phishing step by step
Spear Phishing – Step by Step
  • A targeted company is researched by scammer
  • Emails and websites forged – easy to do!!
  • HTML emails sent
  • They need you to click on the fake URL
  • There goes your $$$

You cannot see true URL in HTML email

plain text can prevent scam
Plain Text Can Prevent Scam
  • Scammers don’t want us to use plain text

True URL is normally displayed in plain text email

spear phishing last step
Spear Phishing – Last Step

Not a SLAC website!

Security markers are missing…

where is https ?

where is lock in border?

Just a useless picture of a lock to trick you

Faking web sites is very easy!

secure website markers
Secure Website Markers

Internet Explorer


what s behind that lock
What’s Behind That Lock?
  • Scammer can just create or buy a certificate
  • Look at URL closely, these are invalid:
    • http://0x47763ae7/
  • Might get error:
avoiding phishing scams
Avoiding Phishing Scams
  • Read ALL e-mail in plain text
    • Convert to HTML with one click if you trust the e-mail
  • Look for valid URL in e-mail and browser
    • Does it match where you intended to be?
  • Look for security markers in browser window
  • Stop if you get any Security Alerts
  • Do they REALLY need this information??
regarding slac websites
Regarding SLAC Websites…
  • SLAC HR wouldn’t ask for bank info via a web page
  • If you are suspicious of web site then call the SLAC Department directly
everything else
Everything else…

Well, okay at least…

scammer’s motivations



perils of ordering pizza

making money method 1
Making Money - Method 1


Adware and Spyware

Tracking cookies

Spam usually touting counterfeit goods

  • Firefox: Tools -> Adblock -> Preferences
  • IE: Nothing built-in. “Adblock” for IE is actually adware so don’t go get it.
browser configuration
Browser Configuration
  • IE: Tools -> Internet Options
  • Firefox: Tools -> Options
making money method 2
Making Money - Method 2

Scams, Fraud, Identity Theft

Nigerian 419 scams

Click-through fraud

Steal some Personally Identifiable Information

personally identifiable information
What people are doing with stolen PII ?

Credit card, Bank, Loan fraud

Phone or Utilities fraud

Applying for Government documents or benefits

Magazine subscription (~0.2 % each year!)

Scope of the problem – FTC data (2003-2005)

10 million victims of identity theft in U.S.

Victims spend an average of $1,500 and 175 hours to recover

 Not including losses by vendors, merchants, or financial institutions

Personally Identifiable Information

PII is essentially data that can be used to facilitate identity theft  

making money method 3
Making Money - Method 3

Be the


  • Herder deploys malware
  • 2. Infected PCs log into an IRC server or other communications medium, forming a network with a central C&C structure
  • 3. Spammer purchases access to botnet
  • 4. Spammer sends instructions to the botnet
  • 5. The infected PCs send the spam messages

from Wikipedia on Botnets




User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20060728 Firefox/

Accept: text/xml,application/xml,application/xhtml+xml,text/html;q=0.9,text/plain;q=0.8,image/png,*/*;q=0.5

Accept-Language: en-us,en;q=0.5

Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate

Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7

Keep-Alive: 300

Proxy-Connection: keep-alive



Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded

Content-length: 268


final thoughts
Final Thoughts
  • Report all suspicious activity
    • Send email to:
    • Urgent: call HelpDesk at x4357
  • See Teresa, Heather, Bob Cowles, Gary Buhrmaster, John Halperin and Steffen Luitz at Computer Security table in breezeway for your questions