The cyber domain is live with news of data breaches, security patches, zero day vulnerabilities, among other cyber attacks but ensuring cybersecurity comes with the strenuous task of investing in phishing prevention measures. Despite this, we can always check on the latest cybersecurity trends and stay prepared for such an incident at a personal level. Here is the list of the latest updates from the cyber world from this past week.
While on the one hand, the advent of newer technologies is a boon for us all; on the other, it also gives cyber adversaries the upper hand many times, as they also get to improve their skill sets to launch all sorts of cyberattacks worldwide – which is why it is crucial to stay abreast of the latest cyber updates such as given below, which can help professionals and regular consumers of technology alike mitigate these cyber threats in the future.
Cybercriminals have historically been more active during the holiday season. There are several reasons for this. Holidays are when both organizations and users receive a large number of emails regarding seasons greetings, promotions, discounts, and charity. People also tend to let down their guards during holidays and increase their shopping activities.
In-depth knowledge of cyberattacks is humanly impossible to acquire unless one takes it up as a profession. But the least we can do is stay abreast of the recent hacks, for ‘just-in-case’ situations when the knowledge of the attack might prove to be our rescuer and help prevent phishing attacks!
E-mails have become the primary mode of communication for all information today, be it critical official intimations or academic records. According to a report published in March 2020, 306.4 billion E-mails were sent and received daily in 2020, worldwide, and these figures are rising by the day. There is no doubt that E-mails are convenient means for both parties for sending and receiving short and quick communication over the internet. They also enhance the ease of communication as compared to conventional methods such as mail and fax.
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen an iPhone scam. Maybe that’s why it’s making the rounds again. According to an article on Scamicide, “A scam is appearing on Facebook and other social media where you are asked to like a promotion found on your Facebook page where you are told that merely by completing a survey and sharing a link with your friends, you will receive a free iPhone12. Of course, you are not going to get a free iPhone 12 in exchange for merely completing a survey and sharing a link with your friends. What you are going to get when you complete this particular survey, which requires you to provide your cell phone number, is a cramming charge on your cell phone bill for a text messaging service for which you have unwittingly signed up. As for your friends, if they click on the link that you have enabled them to receive, they will end up being defrauded as well.” If it sounds too good to be true… Continue reading “Cyber Security News Update – Week 41 of 2020” »
Email marketing has gained much significance over the past few years. Every organization worth its salt uses email marketing as one of its primary promotional strategies. Sending bulk emails using the standard email servers has its limitations. The ideal solution is to use an SMTP relay service to ensure guaranteed delivery of marketing and other emails to the prospective customer’s inbox. Let us discuss the concept of SMTP services and understand its significance.
How low do you have to be to direct a phishing scam at people who are starving? Pretty low, but apparently that’s what’s been happening.
According to an online source, “Food insecurity has long been an issue. Vulnerable populations have been hit especially hard during COVID-19. While countless individuals and organizations have stepped up to help fill the need, others have ventured to exploitation. For example, this phishing scam: a friend of a friend sends you a link through Facebook or What’s App. It offers free help. Sometimes it mentions something about food grants from places like Whole Foods, Walmart, Target. Other times there are promises of coupons or giveaways. But the common thing is that there is always a link.” And of course, the link is a scam. Some people have no heart. Continue reading “Cyber Security News Update – Week 40 of 2020” »
GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area. It’s a law that gives control of people’s personal data back to the people. It includes the right to see all the data a company has on you, as well as the “right to be forgotten.” In other words, a company that is covered by the GDPR has to delete your personal data at your request.
Waiting on a package from somewhere? Be careful, it could be a scam called the “waiting package” scam. How original.
According to the US Federal Trade Commission, “The messages are coming from scammers. In some cases, they’re targeted at college students. In that version, scammers text returning students to say there’s a package waiting for them — sometimes claiming it’s been waiting since last spring, when many students had to go home from campus quickly.” Don’t click that link.
As crazy as it is to believe, spammers would not keep throwing out spam unless they got a return on their investment. So, while it might seem unlikely that someone would fall for the fake pill spam that has been going around forever, somebody must be falling for it or it would have died out a long time ago.
If you don’t know what a “car wrap” is, it’s a company that pays people to drive their car around “wrapped” in a company advertisement for a fee. Seems like pretty easy money. Which is probably why scammers decided to turn it into a scam.
The one thing you could always count on with a phishing page is that something would give it away as a phishing page. After all, it’s not the real page, so there must be something different about it. Protecting yourself from a phishing attack simply came down to being able to identify the clue that gave away the web page as a phishing page. But what if attackers could find a way to phish you with the legitimate page you actually intend to visit? There wouldn’t be any clues giving it away as a fake page because it isn’t. That would be a problem, and unfortunately that problem has become reality.
Beware of photo sharing messages from Google. It’s a scam according to the Better Business Bureau.
From the BBB, “You get an email or text message that appears to come from Google Photo. Someone is sharing an album of photos with you. To view the photos, you just need to click the link. The message looks so real! It may use a convincing URL, which has been created by Google’s goo.gl URL shortened to appear to be an official Google domain name. The catch? There is no photo album. It’s a phishing con.”
We forward business emails all day, every day and never give it another thought. But maybe we should. According to a University of Arkansas law professor, it could violate copyright law.
“In a major article examining the strength of legal arguments to protect private email expression, a University of Arkansas law professor concludes that, based on the historical common law, today’s Federal Copyright Act does not protect someone from copying and distributing another person’s private expression, which means that forwarding email without permission of the sender may be against the law. Going back more than 250 years, the common law recognized that authors of personal correspondence hold absolute property rights in their private expression,” said Ned Snow, assistant professor of law.
Talk about an oldie but a goodie. What would you say if I told you criminals have resorted to one of the oldest scams there is? Stealing checks out of mailboxes. Do people still send checks through mail? Apparently, they do.
From Scamicide, “criminals around the country are stealing mail with checks in them from U.S. Postal Service mailboxes, ‘washing’ the checks to remove the name of the person or company to whom the check was made out and then writing in their own name.” The solution to this of course is simple. Stop sending checks in the mail.
The first wave of pandemic-related phishing attacks targeted vulnerable employees and consumers. There were attacks that used home delivery services and attacks that used travel-related services. There were attacks on spoofed resumes and attacks on the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Now hackers have moved on to the gainfully employed by attacking the virtual private networks (VPN) that remote workers use to connect to the office while working remotely.
Who are the most targeted brands for scams? Microsoft, Apple and Amazon. Today we have a scam to tell you about for all three. First, Outlook.
The interesting thing about this scam, is the tact the scammers took. “Out are the implied threats, the exclamation points (!!!) and the money ($$$) you might lose if you don’t act right now; in are the happy and unexceptionable ‘here’s a problem that you can fix all by yourself without waiting for IT to help you’ messages of a sort that many companies are using these days to reduce support queuing times.” You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
Let’s face it, hackers do whatever they can to get you to click on their link. And they have a lot of tools in their toolbox to get you to click. Everything from social engineering to display name spoofing to domain name spoofing. It’s all to get you to do one thing: click the link.
Look here, another Amazon phishing scam, this one courtesy of Scamicide. From the article, “The latest Amazon phishing scam starts with an email that appears to come from Amazon when you do not have any email security service, informing you that your accounts have been locked due to suspicious activity. You are prompted to click on a link to verify your account within 24 hours or risk having your account permanently shut down.”