The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank collapsed is being called the second largest bank failure in the U.S., and the news was closely followed by the announcement of a regulatory takeover of Signature Bank. Big headline events like these that have a wide-reaching impact are exactly the kind of news items bad actors look to exploit for social engineering attacks.
The confusion at impacted organizations creates the opportunity for security failures through Business Email Compromise and phishing attacks. Threat actors may send phishing emails impersonating a company executive, the FDIC, SVB, or other organizations with carefully crafted messages about a supposedly urgent business matter that the target must resolve immediately.
These messages may contain a link to an attacker-controlled website that looks like the victim's bank but is designed to intercept login credentials, or the email might have a malicious attachment that, when opened, will infect the endpoint with malware — or worse, set off a ransomware attack.
Takeaway: To defend against these risks, those impacted should be extremely cautious about all communications. Don't click on links directly, go to the browser and input the website URL directly, and don't take any actions or volunteer any information when directed until they can independently confirm the information and the sender.
In situations like this, individuals need to just stop and think - the attackers are counting on distractions and the highly stressful nature of events like this to get people to make mistakes while under duress.
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