That Ain't You: Blocking Spearphishing Emails Before they are Sent

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Provided by: Cornell University
Topic: Security
Format: PDF
One of the ways in which attackers try to steal sensitive information from corporations is by sending spear-phishing emails. This type of emails typically appears to be sent by one of the victim's coworkers, but have instead been crafted by an attacker. A particularly insidious type of spear-phishing emails are the ones that do not only claim to come from a trusted party, but were actually sent from that party's legitimate email account that was compromised in the first place. In this paper, the authors propose a radical change of focus in the techniques used for detecting such malicious emails: instead of looking for particular features that are indicative of attack emails, they look for possible indicators of impersonation of the legitimate owners.
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