Cybercriminals Expand Style of Attacks

For quite a long time now, IT security folks have been educating computer user folks on how to be cautious when interacting with unsecure web sites; you know, the ones that don’t have that closed green lock in the upper left-hand of the web page address line. Those are the plain-brown-paper web sites that start out with “http://.

It is reported that cybercriminals are using two new attack vectors to fraudulently obtain personal information. The two attack vectors they employ are by either sending spoofed emails that look like they come from trusted sources (phishing) or by redirecting Internet traffic to a web site that uses that closed green lock. This tactic is known as “pharming.”

Since Cybercriminals are expanding their tactics, IT security professionals must expand our training to include cautions about interacting with web sites that do contain that closed green lock.

Historically, cyber-criminals hijacked or hacked existing websites to lure users to their compromised websites. Cybercriminals are bypassing hacking other people’s web sites and have gone to phishing attacks that are increasingly leveraging new malicious domain registrations. The Anti-Phishing Working Group (AWPG) released a report that detailed how malicious use of the domain name system reached an all-time high. The study showed that malicious domain registrations accounted for half of all domain names used for phishing in 2016.

How Phishing Attacks Use Domains

The shift from hacked web servers and domains to malicious domain registration signifies phishers are becoming bolder in their activities and actions.

Domains have become a key element in the cybercriminal arsenal. Phishers set up webpages that masquerade as trustworthy brands, such as banks and e-commerce sites. Cybercriminals can then lure victims to these fake sites, and users are tricked into providing sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details.

The study also revealed many domains used by phishers are being aged and are not used immediately. New domains receive low reputation scores from security and antispam companies, which makes it more likely the phishing emails will be flagged before reaching intended victims. Cybercriminals evade those measures by waiting until registered domains are older and have better reputation scores.

More Tricks in the Phishing Game

Experts have warned that cybercriminals evolve and adapt to bypass industry safeguards. For example, researchers at Netcraft referred to a sharp hike — from roughly 5 percent to 15 percent — in the number of phishing sites using https:// to communicate.

Greg Aaron, vice president of iThreat Cyber Group and report co-author, recognized in a press release that phishers are using other tricks, such as domain shadowing, to further their schemes. Domain shadowing is when an unsuspecting company’s DNS settings are manipulated to insert multiple phishing sites onto the firm’s servers.

The shift in techniques used by phishers, such as registering domain names, using https, and manipulating DNS settings highlight how cybercrime detection is becoming harder and taking longer. The study’s authors suggested businesses take strong measures to protect their web hosting and email services. Users, meanwhile, must always be alert when they enter credentials and should pay close attention to the destination URL for any site they are using.

To learn more about TCC’s IT Managed Services, please visit our website


The Role of Technology in The Life of An Automotive Technician

Posted by Melissa Waters, TCC Director of Business Development, Learning Technologies

Remember the 80s-advertising slogan, “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile”? No? Neither do many of today’s automotive technicians. Just as the Oldsmobile is a relic of the past, so are the old ways of learning about autos in general. As the evolution of the automotive industry continues and new technologies become mainstream features in today’s cars, automotive service centers have become a place where technicians need regular upskilling and information.

Recently, a panel of industry professionals discussed how advances in technology are impacting the skill requirements for automotive-service technicians. As manufacturers integrate the latest innovations into their vehicles, it’s increasingly more critical that service technicians stay on top of the latest research and development so they know how to perform needed repairs. When a company like Audi introduces new technology such as 48-Volt Electrical Systems (a system that is not only more powerful, but can also improve fuel economy), technicians have to undergo specialized training to learn to repair and maintain such systems.

As you can see, technology plays a vital role in the life of an automotive technician.

To address the needs of the automotive technician of today, TCC has created an Automotive Technician Training Library. Based on ASE certification standards, this high tech offering is designed to increase your employees’ expertise and productivity, while reducing training seat time and overall training administration. That translates into satisfied, loyal customers, and a stronger, more profitable and competitive brand.

What can you gain by having a properly trained technician? Following proper protocols is not only important for ensuring that vehicle repair and maintenance are performed effectively and efficiently, but also for keeping your shops in compliance with state regulations. Preventing botched work saves you money and the grief of having dissatisfied customers, or even worse, unsafe vehicles on the road.

It’s important to be able to show your customers your expertise and have the backing of a sound foundation of training. Leverage the expert knowledge captured in TCC’s Auto Library to help prepare your technicians for the next wave of innovation in the auto industry, and beyond.

To learn more about TCC’s Learning Technologies, please visit our website


Mainframe Skills Gap is a Human Resources Strategic Opportunity

Posted by Rick Fowler, TCC Director of Mainframe Services

I believe everyone acknowledges that there is a mainframe skills gap. Many mainframe technology employees are retiring and there are few new recruits to fill the openings. I have heard many different suggestions on how to attract future mainframe talent.

Reg Harbeck of IBM Systems Magazine did an interview with Susan Dineen on the future of the mainframe workforce. She had some really interesting insights she shared in the interview. Harbeck, R. (2018, April). Susan Dineen on the Future of the Mainframe Workforce. Retrieved April 17, 2018, from (1) Live Send&utm_content=Susan Dineen on the Future of the Mainframe Workforce&spMailingID=13324271&spUserID=MTc5NzQyODM4ODI5S0&spJobID=1381408713&spReportId=MTM4MTQwODcxMwS2

She pointed out that human resource professionals are dealing with a lot of complex issues and developing a strategy around this has not been a top priority. However, to reduce business risk, you need to think about the mainframe skills gap as a strategic opportunity, and you need to put talent first because if you do not have teams that understand the applications and the environment, then the risk of an outage increases. People get burned out because there are too few people to do the work and this has a negative impact on morale and productivity. Also, time to hire and cost of hire can increase as well.

She suggests the first step in creating a strategy is to conduct a risk assessment of your legacy staff, looking at the people that are on mainframe teams, their tenure, and their expected date of retirement. Then, do an assessment of the portfolio of systems and hardware and determine what has been documented and what hasn’t. This establishes priorities and forms the basis of a risk response plan so that retirements are not a surprise, and a pipeline of mainframe talent can be developed to fill open positions in a timely manner.

To read the full interview, click here:

To find out more about TCC’s Mainframe Managed Services, please visit our website



TCC Sponsors the Power to the Profession Session at the 2018 Leadership Connections National Conference

Posted by Michelle Thomas, TCC Senior Policy Advisor

TCC is a proud sponsor of the Power to the Profession Session on May 11, 2018 at the 2018 Leadership Connections National Conference at the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership. This dynamic conference is designed to provide early childhood professionals with the essential whole leadership knowledge and tools needed to build brighter futures in early care and education programs.

Power to the Profession is a national collaboration to define the early childhood profession by establishing a unifying framework for career pathways, knowledge and competencies, qualifications, standards and compensation.

Marica Cox Mitchell will provide an overview of Power to the Profession, review the scope of stakeholder engagement, and share the decisions made to date. Panel respondents, wearing their program leadership lenses, will be: Sherry Cleary, Anne Douglass, and Teri Talan.

For more information on the conference, please click this link:

To learn more about TCC’s Early Childhood Data Systems, please visit our website