Everything You Need to Know About SMTP Security

What do you send in your emails? Pictures from your last trip or recipes for your kids? Business reports for your supervisor? Or maybe something even more confidential like login details or social security numbers? We’re not here to judge. But whatever you include in your emails, you definitely don’t want anyone but the receiver to see. Luckily for all of us, nearly all email clients take care of encrypting our emails so you don’t have to worry about things like secure SMTP or SSL/TLS. But if you want to make a more mindful decision or you’re just setting up your own client, it’s good to know what really happens under the hood. Let’s see!

What’s SMTP? Is it secure?

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol is the technology used by the vast majority of email clients to move messages between servers, on the way to the end-users. In simple words – it’s what gets your emails to the recipient within seconds, even if they’re currently chilling in the 142 bus at Stampede Trail in Alaska (LTE coverage might be a factor, though).

Think of SMTP as a digital postman that first, picks up your package (email) and takes it from your email client to the server, aptly named SMTP server (as it’s used solely for sending out messages). Another postman then picks up the package and takes it all the way to the recipient’s server where it’s picked up and stored for milliseconds at the recipient’s POP3/IMAP server. When all the pleasantries are exchanged, the incoming mail is then delivered to the recipient, without the involvement of SMTP anymore but with separate IMAP/POP3 protocols.

As you can see, SMTP takes care of a significant portion of each outgoing transmission. Given the importance and omnipresence of this protocol, you would think it’s heavily encrypted and secured with top-notch technologies from the secret Google or Yahoo! labs. Well, none of that. The standard SMTP protocol comes with no security features, making it really vulnerable to hijacking and other forms of attacks. It’s like our postman boarded a public intercity bus, dropped a bag with mail on one of the seats and got off right away. Will it arrive intact to a receiver? Possibly. Will it be easy to check what’s being sent or, well, play with it a bit to your or recipient’s disadvantage? Likely too.

What are the threats to SMTP security?

There’s a number of things to be aware of when transmitting even a small amount of emails. Here are the most commonly occurring ones:

Unauthorized access to your emails and data leakage

Cybercriminals might try to get access to your SMTP server that all the outgoing mail goes through. This is done by breaking your authentication procedures with more or less sophisticated methods. When in, unwanted visitors can access your emails and use them to their advantage, by for example leaking your users’ data or stealing confidential information you were sending to coworkers.

Spam and Phishing

When fraudsters are able to access your SMTP server, they’re also likely to use it to send unauthorized messages to both your contacts and external accounts (this is known as using your server as an Open Relay). This is done to send spam which, when sent from your legitimate and (likely) well-known domain, might be quite successful. Or, even worse, your server can be used to send malicious emails, for example requesting your users share their login credentials or credit card numbers.

Malware

Attackers commonly use the vulnerabilities of SMTP to spread malicious software to the recipients of your email but also in your own infrastructure. These can be viruses, Trojan horses or any other types of worms that are then used to obstruct operations, gain access to servers, change privileges and access secure data. If not fought with sufficient force, malware might continue spreading, infecting more and more servers and users.

DoS attacks

If all of the above didn’t seem serious, cybercriminals can also use your SMTP server to perform a Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks. This basically means flooding other servers with a huge amount of emails to affect their performance or even cause a crash. DoS can also be used to flood an inbox to hide any warning messages about security breaches to a server. Whatever a DoS attack’s purpose, it’s never good.

These are only some of the examples. But is there a way to secure our connection and avoid such a fate?

You can learn more about SMTP security issues and how to prevent them by visiting the article originally posted on Mailtrap Blog.

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Wilford  Pagac

Wilford Pagac

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Best Custom Web & Mobile App Development Company

Everything around us has become smart, like smart infrastructures, smart cities, autonomous vehicles, to name a few. The innovation of smart devices makes it possible to achieve these heights in science and technology. But, data is vulnerable, there is a risk of attack by cybercriminals. To get started, let’s know about IoT devices.

What are IoT devices?

The Internet Of Things(IoT) is a system that interrelates computer devices like sensors, software, and actuators, digital machines, etc. They are linked together with particular objects that work through the internet and transfer data over devices without humans interference.

Famous examples are Amazon Alexa, Apple SIRI, Interconnected baby monitors, video doorbells, and smart thermostats.

How could your IoT devices be vulnerable?

When technologies grow and evolve, risks are also on the high stakes. Ransomware attacks are on the continuous increase; securing data has become the top priority.

When you think your smart home won’t fudge a thing against cybercriminals, you should also know that they are vulnerable. When cybercriminals access our smart voice speakers like Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri, it becomes easy for them to steal your data.

Cybersecurity report 2020 says popular hacking forums expose 770 million email addresses and 21 million unique passwords, 620 million accounts have been compromised from 16 hacked websites.

The attacks are likely to increase every year. To help you secure your data of IoT devices, here are some best tips you can implement.

Tips to secure your IoT devices

1. Change Default Router Name

Your router has the default name of make and model. When we stick with the manufacturer name, attackers can quickly identify our make and model. So give the router name different from your addresses, without giving away personal information.

2. Know your connected network and connected devices

If your devices are connected to the internet, these connections are vulnerable to cyber attacks when your devices don’t have the proper security. Almost every web interface is equipped with multiple devices, so it’s hard to track the device. But, it’s crucial to stay aware of them.

3. Change default usernames and passwords

When we use the default usernames and passwords, it is attackable. Because the cybercriminals possibly know the default passwords come with IoT devices. So use strong passwords to access our IoT devices.

4. Manage strong, Unique passwords for your IoT devices and accounts

Use strong or unique passwords that are easily assumed, such as ‘123456’ or ‘password1234’ to protect your accounts. Give strong and complex passwords formed by combinations of alphabets, numeric, and not easily bypassed symbols.

Also, change passwords for multiple accounts and change them regularly to avoid attacks. We can also set several attempts to wrong passwords to set locking the account to safeguard from the hackers.

5. Do not use Public WI-FI Networks

Are you try to keep an eye on your IoT devices through your mobile devices in different locations. I recommend you not to use the public WI-FI network to access them. Because they are easily accessible through for everyone, you are still in a hurry to access, use VPN that gives them protection against cyber-attacks, giving them privacy and security features, for example, using Express VPN.

6. Establish firewalls to discover the vulnerabilities

There are software and firewalls like intrusion detection system/intrusion prevention system in the market. This will be useful to screen and analyze the wire traffic of a network. You can identify the security weakness by the firewall scanners within the network structure. Use these firewalls to get rid of unwanted security issues and vulnerabilities.

7. Reconfigure your device settings

Every smart device comes with the insecure default settings, and sometimes we are not able to change these default settings configurations. These conditions need to be assessed and need to reconfigure the default settings.

8. Authenticate the IoT applications

Nowadays, every smart app offers authentication to secure the accounts. There are many types of authentication methods like single-factor authentication, two-step authentication, and multi-factor authentication. Use any one of these to send a one time password (OTP) to verify the user who logs in the smart device to keep our accounts from falling into the wrong hands.

9. Update the device software up to date

Every smart device manufacturer releases updates to fix bugs in their software. These security patches help us to improve our protection of the device. Also, update the software on the smartphone, which we are used to monitoring the IoT devices to avoid vulnerabilities.

10. Track the smartphones and keep them safe

When we connect the smart home to the smartphone and control them via smartphone, you need to keep them safe. If you miss the phone almost, every personal information is at risk to the cybercriminals. But sometimes it happens by accident, makes sure that you can clear all the data remotely.

However, securing smart devices is essential in the world of data. There are still cybercriminals bypassing the securities. So make sure to do the safety measures to avoid our accounts falling out into the wrong hands. I hope these steps will help you all to secure your IoT devices.

If you have any, feel free to share them in the comments! I’d love to know them.

Are you looking for more? Subscribe to weekly newsletters that can help your stay updated IoT application developments.

#iot #enterprise iot security #how iot can be used to enhance security #how to improve iot security #how to protect iot devices from hackers #how to secure iot devices #iot security #iot security devices #iot security offerings #iot security technologies iot security plus #iot vulnerable devices #risk based iot security program

Security  IT

Security IT

1606927174

10 Cyber Security Tools to Watch Out for in 2021 - DZone Security

With an immense number of companies and entities climbing onto the digital bandwagon, cybersecurity considerations have come up as limelight. Besides, new technologies such as Big Data, IoT, and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning are gradually more making inroads into our everyday lives, the threats related to cybercrime are mounting as well. Additionally, the usage of mobile and web apps in transacting financial information has put the complete digital stuff exposed to cybersecurity breaches. The inherent risks and vulnerabilities found in such apps can be exploited by attackers or cybercriminals to draw off crucial information data counting money. Internationally, cyber-security breaches have caused a yearly loss of USD 20.38 million in 2019 (Source: Statista). Plus, cybercrime has led to a 0.80 percent loss of the entire world’s Gross domestic product, which sums up to approx. USD 2.1 trillion in the year 2019 alone (Source: Cybriant.com).

In this article, take a look at ten cyber security tools to watch out for in 2021, including NMap, Wireshark, Metasploit, and more!

#security #cyber security #security testing #security testing tools #cyber security tools

Ida  Nader

Ida Nader

1602963300

Cloud Security: Is it Worth it?

Storing and managing corporate data by applying the cloud is becoming more and more popular. Companies grow, and it gets too expensive, and resources consuming to store their data on traditional servers. To prove it, look at the research conducted by Google in 2019 that includes insights for the cloud computing market for the next 10 years.

Around 80% of US respondents (about 1,100 businesses participated) revealed that they are thinking about cloud adoption by 2029. In 2019, only about 40% made a switch. 72% of businesses state that they’d like to automate security solutions by 2029, while now only 33% actually do it.

What do these numbers tell us? That companies seem to be suspicious about cloud security and prefer traditional on-premises data storage to the cloud environment. Why are they afraid to entrust cloud providers with their data? What to do to get rid of this fear? How to prove that the future of security is after the cloud?

In our article, we aim to answer these questions and more, but first, you need to be able to identify the reasons why companies have cloud-related trust issues. The first step in eliminating a problem is identifying it, let’s do it together!

#cloud-security #security-of-data #cybersecurity #cloud-computing #aws-security #azure-security #data-breaches #cyber-security

SecOps Teams Wrestle with Manual Processes, HR Gaps

Only about half of enterprises are satisfied with their ability to detect cybersecurity threats, according to a survey from Forrester Consulting – with respondents painting a picture of major resource and technology gaps hamstringing their efforts to block cyberattacks.

According to the just-released 2020 State of Security Operations survey of 314 enterprise security professionals, enterprise security teams around the world feel that they struggle with the growing pace, volume and sophistication of cyberattacks. A whopping 79 percent of enterprises covered in the survey have experienced a cyber-breach in the past year, and nearly 50 percent have been breached in the past six months.

#cloud security #hacks #malware #most recent threatlists #uncategorized #web security #2020 #automated triage #enterprise security #forrester consulting #manual processes #secops #security alerts #security defense #state of security operations #survey #workforce skills gap

Wiley  Mayer

Wiley Mayer

1599987600

How to Keep Your Java Applications Secure - DZone Security

A little over a year ago, in April 2019, the way most Java users accessed updates for the JDK changed. The reason for this was a combination of changes made by Oracle to how the JDK is developed and the licensing terms of the Oracle JDK.

The Oracle JDK 11 and Oracle JDK 8 (from update 211) now use the Oracle Technology Network License Agreement. This limits free use to only four cases:

  1. Personal use (laptop or desktop for personal applications)
  2. Development use
  3. Oracle approved product use
  4. Oracle cloud infrastructure use

For all other cases, a Java SE subscription must be purchased from Oracle.

This has required users to make decisions about their JDK deployment strategy. One such approach is “Well, it works fine on the JDK we have now; let’s just stick with that.”

There is an obvious flaw to this, which is the effect this decision will have on the security of applications.

Ever since people started developing software, other people have been trying to find ways to use it in ways not originally intended. This is often for malicious goals such as stealing credit card numbers or user’s identities. We use the term to describe someone who is able to subvert computer security. There are a myriad of ways that hackers use to achieve their goals; from fooling people into revealing confidential information (phishing) to sophisticated manipulation of software through techniques like buffer overruns.

#java #security #jvm #java security #cvss score #jvm security #security updates