As sophisticated cybercriminal lures become ever more ubiquitous, and the consequence of a hook-and-steal situation more costly and disruptive (think mis-wiring funds and ransomware), we at Tech Essentials are spotting a new trend very much rooted in science fiction.
“Precrime”, infamous from Philip K. Dick’s 1956 sci-fi short story, “The Minority Report” and the 2002 Tom Cruise movie based on it, is the name of a future police agency tasked with identifying people who will commit crimes in the very near future. Without getting into too much of the plot, certain humans decades from now will be able to leverage telepathic abilities to tip off police as to crimes shortly before they happen. These cops can then swoop in on a suspect minutes before they rob a bank or stab an innocent bystander. If you’re wondering how legal systems in the future can prosecute people who technically haven’t yet committed any crimes, that’s one of the main tensions of the story.
20 years after its release, the movie version has been credited with accurately predicting everything from gesture-based touchscreen interfaces to self-driving cars to targeted 3D ads, so why not assume precrime is just around the corner? We here believe that “PRE-crime” has already arrived, specifically in the form of RMail AI.
Well known for its Registered Email™ and Registered Encryption™ features that mitigate risk by providing proof of who said what when, or audit-ready proof of fact of privacy compliance, RMail AI has and continues to evolve in favor of precrime detection vs. e-security risk mitigation. Put more simply, this means stopping the e-crime after the hook is in, but before the steal (crime) completes. (P.S. we hear there are some more PRE-crime RMail AI innovations releasing end of summer specifically for the legal, real estate/title/escrow, and investment management communities – please stay tuned).
RMail AI now and its soon-to-be released features are essentially turning RPost (makers of RMail) into a customer’s very own PRE-crime-fighting agency. RPost technology, in tandem with our team of elite customer agents, now and in the near future, will alert customers of a crime related to email cybercriminal hook-and-steal lures that have not yet occurred but are in the process of occurring — with enough warning so that users and IT admins can take action to eliminate the crime right before it happens. These crimes most often lure companies into sending money to the cybercriminals through trickery or as a ransomware bounty, as we’ve discussed in this column in the past.
One e-security technology that is already available is the RMail Recommends™ service, which uses predictive technologies at the point of sending in the compose email interface, to automate recommendations or requirements for users to encrypt, send Registered Email™ messages, or send for eSign. It solves many training and human error headaches IT staff encounter and provides compliance staff peace of mind; all the while training users on availability of special email security features in a non-intrusive and time-efficient manner.
But the PRE-crime element of this feature is RMail AI’s ability to detect and alert a user just before they reply to an email address with a lookalike domain — a domain that looks just like a company that they normally correspond with related to transactions, invoices, or human resources or other payments. That’s PRE-crime.
PRE-crime is stopping the crime after the cybercriminal has identified (a) who to target in the sender (your) company and (b) with what normal recipient domain to fake; and (c) purchases a lookalike domain of that normal recipient, and further, after (d) the cybercriminal configures the lookalike domain with an email address with familiar email content, and (e) finally, send to the email from the lookalike domain to the target in your company. RPost’s PRE-crime team and technology swoop in, and stop this with alerts just before the crime – your funds – are sent to the cybercriminal.
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