Cryptocurrency Investigations and Tools
If you believe you may have been a victim of a cryptocurrency scam and need to gather evidence to support a police complaint, Orion Investigations may be able to help.
A cryptocurrency blockchain is a decentralized public digital ledger that exists across a network which contains details of cryptocurrency transactions.
In order to conduct investigations, Orion’s Director of Computer Forensics Services Andrew Smith has developed Blockchain Detective, an investigation tool that simplifies the downloading of cryptocurrency transactions. It automatically generates a visual representation of the transactions (one node per unique address) making it easy to follow the flow of cryptocurrency from one address to the next and automatically identifies exchange addresses.
If you have become a victim of a crypto scam, contact Orion to see how we can assist.
Read full article ==> Cryptocurrency Investigations
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Responding to a RANSOMWARE ATTACK
Responding to a RANSOMWARE ATTACK
When a company becomes a victim of a ransomware attack they will often contact Orion to ask if we can recover their encrypted data. In almost every case the answer is going to be no as we will not have access to a recovery key to decrypt the data. Therefore, it is vital that the company maintains up to date backups of their data.
The number of ransomware attacks continue to rise year on year. According to the Verizon 2022 Data Breach Investigation Report there was a 13% increase in ransomware attacks and ransomware was involved in 25% of all breaches.
One of the trends now employed by the attackers is the double extortion method. The attackers gain access to the network and steal the confidential data. They will then encrypt the data on the network and demand a ransom to be paid to decrypt the data. If the victim has the data backed up and refuses to pay the ransom, the attackers will then threaten to release the data online.
When a company falls victim to a ransomware attack the natural response is to wipe the infected machine and restore the data in order to get up and running again as quickly as possible. As a result, attackers will often use ransomware as a way to destroy any evidence of a data breach after they have extracted the data from the network.
It is therefore important for the company to conduct a thorough investigation even if the encrypted data cannot be recovered.
The purpose of the investigation is to preserve potential evidence in order to:
- Identify how the system came to be infected with ransomware
- Identify if any confidential data has been extracted from the system
- Provide answers to the regulatory authorities and show you have taken reasonable steps to prevent a repeat
- Preserve the data in case decryption keys are released at a later date
If you become a victim of a ransomware attack, how should you respond?
- Do not shut down the infected devices
- Disconnect the infected devices from network
- Preserve logs such as Firewall, VPN, anti-virus logs or any other logs which can be saved
- Document all information pertaining to the ransomware attack
- Photo or copy of the ransom demand note/splash screen
- Ransomware variant name if known
- The file extension of encrypted files
- The date and time of the attack
- The file naming scheme for the ransom note/readme file left by attacker
- Any email addresses or URL or other method provided by the attacker for communications
- Required payment method/bitcoin addresses provided by the attacker
- Ransom amount demanded if known
What information will the investigators need to know from you?
- Number of devices affected
- Type of devices, make, model, size of hard drive
- What OS is on the devices
- Is there encryption on devices and If so what encryption and can IT provide a recovery key?
- Location of devices
- Timeline of events
- Details of ransomware
It is important to respond quickly and get the investigators onsite as soon as possible so that they can begin the process of preserving potential evidence from the infected devices. This will include not only the data from the hard drives and logs but also volatile data such as RAM memory which can provide a wealth of information such as network connections, open ports and destination IP addresses.
We would therefore recommend that you do not wait until you become a victim of a ransomware attack before deciding which investigation company you wish to work with. Do your research, due diligence and complete the vendor onboarding process before an attack occurs. This will ensure a quick response and prevent the loss of any potential evidence.
The Analysis Process Infographic
The Article provided by – Andrew Smith – Director of Computer Forensics Services
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Line ID : orionforensics
Mobile Phone : +66(0)89-960-5080
Download Article => RESPOND TO A RANSOMWARE ATTACK
Hands-on Workshop |Digital Forensics Foundation Course 4 Days Organized by Tech Direct Co., Ltd.
Orion Forensics has organized training course Hands-on Workshop Digital Forensics Foundation Training Course – 4 DAYS on 20th – 23rd December 2022
Tech Direct Co., Ltd. organized the Hands-on Workshop Digital Forensics Foundation Training Course – 4 DAYS on 20th – 23rd December 2022.
A 4-day practical training course for National Intelligence Agency Thailand and police who are responsible for digital forensic investigations.
- The course is aimed for people wishing to become digital forensic investigators or wishing to update their forensic skills.
- The course is designed by digital forensic experts with many years’ experiences both domestically and internationally.
- The training provides a solid foundation in forensic principles and techniques reinforced by practical hands-on exercises using a wide range of free and open-source forensic tools.
The In-House \ On-Site Training available -please contact Digital Forensics Team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Orion Forensics Investigations Participated in Cyber Defense Initiative Conference (CDIC) 2022
On November 9-10, 2022, Orion Forensics Investigations Participated in the Cyber Defense Initiative Conference CDIC 2022 at the BITEC Exhibition and Convention Center.
CDIC is the largest cybersecurity conference and presentation in Thailand.
There were many government and private sectors participating in the meeting.
Organizing this event The presentation under the theme
“Optimizing Security of Things and Digital Supply Chain Risk”
The event is important in enhancing security potential in various areas such as;
- The Importance of empowering cybersecurity for connected IoT devices
- Risk management in the digital information
- Blockchain, AI-powered, Quantum technology advancements are applied both positively in defense and negatively in attack.
- Major changes to the new version of ISO/IEC 27002 include the “Information Security, Cybersecurity & Privacy Protection” controls for ISO/IEC 27001 (ISMS) certification organizations to know when implementing them.
- Promulgation of law Cyber Security Act and Personal Data Protection Act, Etc.
Over two days, Orion Forensics Investigations participated in the event as set up booth, give away prizes to attendees and discuss Digital Forensics Services and Digital Forensics Training Courses, as well as build relationships with other cybersecurity leaders in attendance.
Although, Orion Forensics Investigations has brought and presented sample of equipment in work – related in Digital Forensics, both in terms of software and hardware for study and experiment purposely.
Hands-on Workshop |Digital Forensics Foundation Course 4 Days to GrowPro Consulting & Services Co.,Ltd.
Orion Forensics LAB has organized training course On-Site| hands-on Workshop Digital Forensics Foundation Training Course (4 DAYS) for GrowPro Consulting & Services Co.,Ltd. on 6th – 9th September 2022
A 4 day practical training course for people who are responsible for digital forensic investigations or are wishing to become a digital forensic investigator. The course will provide a solid foundation in the understanding of digital forensics principles and techniques. Each subject is covered in depth and supported by practical scenario based exercises to reinforce the learning points.
As required from expertise, Orion Forensics lab had adapted the curriculum to meet the professional workload of Cloud data collection, Malware Analysis and the Volatility Framework to analyze RAM Memory.
In-House \ On-Site Training available -please contact sales directly at email@example.comRead More
Offences according to the 2007 Computer Crime Act , Judgement of the Supreme Court 2600/2563
Offences according to the 2007 Computer Crime Act section 3 and 7, Judgement of the Supreme Court 2600/2563”A case study of an ex-employee who illegally accessed their company email account after have resigned from the companyRead More
EXPERT WITNESSES – THEIR ROLE & RESPONSIBILITIES
With the Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard trial currently underway and being broadcast live around the world, I thought now would be an appropriate time to discuss what an expert witness is and what their role & responsibilities are.Read More
Digital Forensics Training to Tokio Marine Life Insurance (Thailand) PCL.
Orion Forensics was invited to conduct a 2-day course training to Tokio Marine Life Insurance (Thailand) PCL. On the first day was an online class ,The training course was Digital Evidence – Unlocking the Secrets, which is a theory course throughout the training. The 2nd day of Training was an In-House Class, which is Workshop class – Forensic Techniques for Auditor -This course is a one day workshop for It /Auditor /Fraud Analyst or those who working on fraud investigations or Who works related to digital evidence. the event hold on 3rd-4th March 2022 .The Location is S31 Sukhumvit Hotel.
Orion Forensics would like to thank Tokio Marine Life Insurance (Thailand) PCL. for giving us the opportunity to lecture and educate employees to upskill of digital forensics and are able to apply digital forensics techniques to adapt to the current work.
Course Training Activity
Day1 (Online Class ,Participants 26 Person).
Day 2 (In-House Class, Participants 15 Person).
All Course Training CLICKRead More
Corporate Fraud and Covid-19
Fraud is an intentional act to deprive another of property or money by guile, deception, or other unfair means. Corporate fraud is fraud against a company and can be committed by internal or external parties. Internal fraud is when an employee, manager, or owner commits fraud against their own company such as theft or misuse of company assets. External fraud is committed by third-parties and includes bribery, corruption, hacking, theft and insurance, loans and payment frauds.
It is estimated that organizations globally lose 5 percent of gross revenue to fraud.
A general understanding of human nature and crime may lead us to believe that corporate fraud is committed by employees with bad intentions and a faulty moral compass. However, fraud experts, after analyzing thousands of cases of corporate fraud, have found that other factors are more important in leading an employee to commit fraud.
These factors are illustrated in the Fraud Triangle. The Fraud Triangle consists of Opportunity, Pressure, and Rationalization. To take a simple example – The petty cash draw in Jack’s company is never locked, is not monitored, and is never reconciled. He has an Opportunity. He is low on cash, it is his girlfriend’s birthday and he has not bought a present yet. He has Pressure. A few hundred dollars will not harm the company, nobody will find out, he is underpaid, and overworked and his boss is an idiot. He now has Rationalization and all three boxes are ticked for Jack to become a corporate fraudster, despite being a generally ethical and well-intentioned employee.
How can the Fraud Triangle help us understand the threat of fraud during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Opportunities – while working from home, many companies have had to quickly introduce new work-processes with fewer controls. Pressure – we all know the pressure faced by many during the pandemic due to uncertainties, reduced salaries, family crises and general anxiety levels. Rationalization – while working from home, employees may feel less connected to their employer and colleagues or they may feel dissatisfaction with their employer for measures taken during the pandemic, such as salary reductions or redundancies, making it easier for them to justify committing fraud.
The Association of Fraud Examiners (ACFE) – the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and provider of anti-fraud training and education (and the source of most of the statistics presented in this article) – has observed a significant increase in fraud as a result of Covid-19. Especially in employee embezzlement, cyber fraud, payment fraud and identity theft caused by less oversight due to remote workforces. ACFE members also report challenges to investigating fraud due to travel restrictions and other lack of access to evidence.
While Covid-19 may have created new opportunities and different kinds of fraud, the fundamentals of fraud and how companies can protect themselves from fraud remain the same. The following are some of the key tools available to companies to reduce the risk of being victims of fraud –
- Hotlines – 43 percent of frauds are detected through tips. Organizations with hotlines detect fraud sooner and limit their losses. This illustrates the importance of having a clear reporting mechanism for employees, suppliers, and others to report suspicions of fraud. Most fraudsters are not saving for a rainy day – they tend to live beyond their means and colleagues may pick up on this and report their suspicions. Other red flags of fraud include financial difficulties, unusually close relationships with vendors/customers and addictions.
- Fraud Awareness Training – Employees are more likely to provide tips after they have received training on fraud. They are also less likely to commit fraud if they are aware of the company’s code of conduct and anti-fraud policies and internal controls. Topics will include red flags of fraud, types of fraud, and fraud reporting processes.
- Tone at the Top – Many factors in the Rationalization of a fraud involve poor management. Management and owners must set an example in terms of ethical behaviour and fair treatment of employees and vendors.
- Incident Response Plans – Companies should have a plan in place for how they will respond to fraud or allegations of fraud. This may include identifying external resources that can be called upon to support investigations and legal actions. Once fraud is detected, it is important to collect evidence in a forensically sound manner so it can be used in legal proceedings if necessary. Evidence should also be carefully reviewed before deciding whether legal action can be taken against the fraudsters. Companies often rush to confront a fraudster before sufficient evidence has been gathered to strengthen the company’s position.
- Internal Controls – Most companies will not have the open Petty Cash drawer that helped corrupt poor Jack, but many have comparable vulnerabilities that employees will become aware of over time. Having tighter internal controls including separation of duties, physical safeguards, and surprise audits will reduce the Opportunity factors in the fraud triangle. Many external auditors will also provide internal control review services.
- Fraud Risk Assessments – This involves proactively identifying and mitigating the company’s vulnerabilities to internal and external fraud. It can be done internally or with the support of outside consultants.
- External Audits – External audits of financial statements are also a significant source of fraud discoveries, especially in larger organizations. Identifying potential frauds should be included in the scope of engagement with external auditors.
- Pre-Employment Screening – These include checking of past employment duties, criminal and background checks, educational verification, and reference checks. Organizations should ensure that their employment screening processes comply with data protection laws, with no unauthorized accessing of applicants’ data, and consider the use of a professional screening company.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Implementing these anti-fraud tools will reduce the risk of your organization becoming a victim of fraud. It will also ensure that, if you do become a victim of fraud, the response will be swift and appropriate, and the damage will be limited.
Author : Peter Holmshaw – Managing Director at Orion Investigation Co.,Ltd.Read More
EMAIL BANK TRANSFER FRAUD (BEC) – AVOID BECOMING A VICTIM
We have seen a significant increase in the number of cases where employees responsible for issuing payments on behalf of the company have been tricked into transferring the money into bank accounts under the control of a malicious person (Business Email Compromise). Already in the first 13 days of this year (2022) we have been contacted in relation to three such cases.
How is this type of fraud achieved and what can you do to prevent your company becoming another victim of fraud via email?
The fraudster will can often gain unauthorized access to an email chain via a number of ways. This includes
- Hacking the company network or your vendor’s network
- Unauthorized access by a malicious employee
- Using social engineering or phishing emails
- Using email login details that have become compromised for example by malware located on the computer system or the user using an unsecured WIFI network without a VPN
It should be noted that it is often very difficult to identify how the actual compromise has occurred.
Having gained access to the email chain the fraudster will then create an email address that looks almost identical to an email address within the chain that should be receiving a payment. They will then send an email from the fake email address using an excuse such as “our bank account is being audited so you need to make the payment into this other account of ours”. They will often then follow up with several more emails pushing for the payment to be made as quickly as possible. By using a fake email address, they have now taken control of the conversation. Most victims fail to notice the slight differences between the real email address and the fake one. As a result, all further emails are being diverted away from the intended real recipient to the fraudster. Once the payment has been made it will be extremely difficult to get the money back so prevention is the best policy.
If you do find yourself in the unfortunate position of having been a victim of this type of fraud, then Orion may be able to assist in gathering evidence and preparing the evidence so you can report the crime to the police. It is important to take the following steps.
- Retain an electronic copy of all original emails in the email chain and especially the emails requesting payment to a new bank account and any follow up emails from the fraudster.
It is important to keep an electronic copy of the original received emails and not ones that have been forwarded on internally to other staff members. The reason for this is that the emails contain embedded hidden information that is not usually seen when looking at the email through an email client. This information is known as email header information and contains details of all the computers the email has passed through from the sender to the recipient.
The email header will also contain time and date information and possibly the originating Internet Protocol (IP) address of the sender. In order for a device to connect to the Internet it has to be allocated an IP address. This IP address will be allocated to the customer by an Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Therefore, if we can identify the originating IP address of the email and the time and date information we can identify which ISP is responsible for allocating the IP address and from which country. Law enforcement can then make a legal request to the ISP for details of who the IP address was allocated to at the time and date the email was sent.
When you forward the emails internally the original email header information can be lost which is why it is important to preserve the original emails received in an electronic format.
Case Studies – Examples of cases where we have been able to assist our clients.
Example 1 – A Thai company asked us to examine the emails received from the fraudster to try and identify if they had been compromised or their USA vendor. We were able to show that the fraudster had used the USA vendor email login details to log into the email account via webmail from Nigeria and as a result it was the vendor who had been compromised.
Example 2 – A fraudster had created fake email addresses very similar to our client’s legitimate email addresses to commit the fraud. As a result, the other company concluded our client’s network had been compromised and they then took our client to court to sue for failing to maintain a secure computer network. Based on the evidence available it was impossible for the other company to draw this conclusion. Orion went to court as the expert witness for our client stating that based on all available evidence at the time it was impossible to conclude how the breach to the email system had occurred and which company had been compromised.
If you need assistance, then please do not hesitate to contact Orion Forensics to see how we may be able to help.Read More