NRC Newsletter - October 2022

MFA fatigue: new breach tactics

Conceptual image of someone using binoculars to look at data.

Bad actors are frequently using social engineering attacks to gain access to corporate credentials and breach large networks. With the increased use of multi-factor authentication, one tactic used is a technique called MFA Fatigue. What is MFA Fatigue? Great question.

First let’s explain multi-factor authentication (MFA) 'push' notifications. This feature allows organizations to ‘push’ approval prompts to employees’ mobile devices when someone tries to log in with their credentials. These MFA push notifications ask the user to verify the login attempt and may show where the login is being attempted.

An MFA Fatigue attack is when a hacker uses a script that attempts to log in with stolen credentials over and over, causing what feels like an endless stream of MFA push requests to be sent to the account's owner's mobile device. The goal is to wear down a target’s resolve and inflict a sense of "fatigue" regarding these MFA prompts. Resulting in the target inadvertently clicking “Approve” or accepting the MFA request to stop the constant notifications.

So, what’s the take-away? If you are the recipient of an MFA Fatigue/Spam attack, and you receive a flood of MFA push notifications, do not panic, do not approve the MFA requests, and do not talk to unknown people claiming to be from your organization. Instead, contact the known IT admins for your organization, your IT department, or your supervisors. Describe the situation and suggest that you feel your account has been compromised and may be under attack. If you are able, change the password immediately for the compromised account, if possible, to prevent the hacker from continuing to log in and generating more MFA push notifications.

Text/phone scam alert

Recently a client reported an attempted scam to us. The CEO of the organization was being impersonated. It was suspected that the scammer was able to gather details via a social media site. The scammer then reached out to staff via cell phone and asked them to purchase gift cards or disposable Visa/Mastercard type cards. Please beware of similar text/phone scams. As the holidays approach we anticipate an increase in this type of scam. Please be vigilant. If you aren’t certain if the request is legit, contact the named requestor and verify the request. Report the attempted scam to supervisors, IT departments/providers, and share details with other employees, family, and friends.

End of year IT purchases

Can you believe it is already October? It’s hard to believe that fall is here already. It seems that time goes by even faster post-COVID. Like previous years, we want to give our clients every opportunity to take advantage of Section 179 expenditures. December 31, 2022 is right around the corner.

One of the standard year-end activities that accountants will often recommend is for businesses to make equipment investments by December 31 that can be written off as tax deductions (Section 179 of the IRS tax code). We recommend that you verify the benefits for purchasing equipment and making technology infrastructure improvements with your tax professionals.

Suited business person circling on-screen text with their finger

If you are planning to make any hardware or software investments to improve productivity, support remote teams, or strengthen cybersecurity, now is the time! While we have seen some improves with supply chain issues, these remain a concern. We are urging clients to make purchase decisions sooner than later.

Here are a few suggestions of the types of technology purchases you may want to consider:

  • Computers and other hardware (e.g., servers)
  • Office equipment (e.g., printers, VoIP desk phones, etc.)
  • Network Improvements (e.g., WAP (wireless access point), routers, etc.)

New River Computing offers security vulnerability assessments. We can also look at your entire technology infrastructure and make meaningful suggestions for your year-end purchasing plans.

Contact us today for a consultation 540 808 2900 x2 | schedule a Zoom meeting or phone call.

October birthday

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George T. Probst

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