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Stories from the SOC: Fighting back against credential harvesting with ProofPoint

Executive summary is a technique that hackers use to gain unauthorized access to legitimate credentials using strategies like phishing and DNS poisoning. Phishing is the most common cyber threat and can lead to more harmful attacks like ransomware and credential harvesting. In 2020, phishing attacks targeted credential harvesting in 71.5% of cases. This article discusses a specific incident where a user clicked on a suspicious URL in a phishing email, and how ProofPoint’s URL defense feature helped prevent further attacks. The investigation revealed that the sender’s email failed to pass DMARC and MX record authentication, indicating potential compromise. DMARC and MX records are crucial in preventing phishing attacks. Further analysis identified the email’s URL as malicious, attempting to extract user outlook credentials. The article also explains ProofPoint’s two-step approach to URL defense, which helps protect users from malicious links. While ProofPoint provides significant protection, users should remain vigilant and take additional security measures. The incident response process, mitigation steps, and customer interaction are also discussed. Overall, the article emphasizes the importance of awareness, training, and robust defense strategies to mitigate the risk of credential loss.

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