45 Posts

Michelle Alvarez

Manager, IBM X-Force IRIS

    Michelle Alvarez is the manager of the Threat Intelligence Production Team with IBM X-Force Incident Response and Intelligence Services (IRIS). She brings more than 15 years of industry experience to her role, specializing in threat research and communication. In her current role, she focuses communications efforts around strategic threat and impact assessments for X-Force IRIS clients. Michelle's previous roles include threat analyst, writer and manager with IBM Managed Security Services (MSS).

    Written By Michelle Alvarez

    Cybercriminals Phish Their Way Into Customer Loyalty Programs

    Loyalty programs can bring big rewards to customers, but they also may make organizations more appealing to cybercriminals looking to steal data.

    Don’t Get Pantsed: Embrace a Culture of Cybersecurity With Greater Security Awareness

    Every organization needs to evaluate their current cybersecurity culture and work to improve their employees' overall security awareness.

    Blurred Lines: Researching the Ashley Madison Data

    Ashley Madison's recent data dump provided security researchers with a treasure trove of information — but is looking into the breach completely legal?

    DDoS Extortion: Ransomware’s Older Cousin

    Though ransomware has been received a lot of press, extortion by threat of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is still very real — and dangerous.

    Ransomware: The Enterprise’s Boogeyman

    Ransomware is a growing problem in today's threat landscape, but organizations can prepare for and prevent this type of malware from becoming an issue.

    IBM X-Force Research: Battling Security Threats From Within

    Imagine a scenario: In a single day, a disgruntled employee downloads sensitive or confidential company documents, announces his or her resignation, and gives the inside scoop to a journalist friend. The revelations hit the headlines, and the...

    Uptick in Wire Transfer Scam: I BEC Your Pardon?

    A global wire transfer scam expertly targets businesses and their email accounts. How can your enterprise protect against this type of fraudulent event?

    Got Linux? BillGates Botnet Activity on the Rise

    While it may be just one form of malware currently plaguing Linux systems, the BillGates botnet has recently increased its activity.

    Study: Basic Needs Critical Infrastructure Sectors Account for 8 Percent of All Incidents in 2014

    According to a recently released IBM study, the basic needs critical infrastructure sectors accounted for 8 percent of all security incidents in 2014.

    Pressing Your Luck With WordPress? A Look at CMS Security Risks

    A new paper from IBM discusses the security of content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress and how attackers are targeting them.

    Co-Written By Michelle Alvarez

    Six Major Data Breach Trends From 2017

    IBM X-Force monitored major data breach trends throughout 2017 and gleaned key insights to help companies avoid headline-grabbing security incidents.

    BGP Internet Routing: What Are the Threats?

    The rate of BGP internet routing attacks has not increased significantly in the past two years. It is a considerable threat, however, because it puts the stability of the internet at risk.

    Cybersecurity Tips to Help Retailers and Consumers Stay Secure During the Holiday Season

    Consumers and retailers should implement these basic cybersecurity tips year-round to stay secure during the busy holiday shopping season.

    Downward Trend in Publicly Available Exploit Code? Don’t Ease Up on Patch Management Just Yet

    IBM X-Force reported a downward trend in publicly available exploit code, but security teams must still prioritize vulnerability and patch management.

    Apache Struts 2: A Zero-Day Quick Draw

    It took fraudsters less than 24 hours after the disclosure of a previously unknown Apache Struts 2 vulnerability to develop a Python script to exploit it.

    Mirai IoT Botnet: Mining for Bitcoins?

    Just in time for IoT Day, the Mirai botnet is launching attacks with a new trick up its sleeve: a built-in bitcoin mining component.