Be prudent towards cybersecurity before its too late

Be prudent towards cybersecurity before its too late

Hollywood movies give us an insight as to how it is going to feel when someone puts a gun on your head and asks you for ransom. The good part is we can anticipate the reaction and prevention of any such situation. However, virtual life is significantly different from the ones we see in reel or sometimes unfortunately in real life. People stay under the misapprehension of the virtual world being a safe one, as no physical or face to face contact is made. If you think the same, you may want to rethink it.

The advancement in technology is no doubt, making life much easier. All it takes is just one click to flourish businesses, contact and lock deals and expand the clientele base. Communication has become easier and people can contact anyone from any corner of the world. But are these advantages turning into a bane? In recent years, it most definitely has. Cybersecurity is one of the biggest concerns of businesses that carry most of its operations online. Phishing, vishing, ransomware, smshing are few of many cyber threats occurring on an hourly if not daily basis. One such cyber threat that has caught the attention of cyber police and tech enthusiasts is ransomware.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a kind of malware that is used to infect the devices of individuals or businesses. There are a few variants available as of now including the ones which either infect the device and encrypt the files. The other ones get access to the device and either delete the files or block them till they get the desired ransom. The amount of ransom can be anything between $200-$20,000, gift cards or bitcoins with no specific pattern in the value of ransom.

The loss related to a ransomware attack is not only limited to the amount of ransom itself, but it hits the victim in many ways. The losses include the loss of data, amount of ransom, legal charges, IT costs, cybersecurity software and loss of productivity. One ransomware attack can affect the victim in numerous ways, from which it takes months or even years to recover. When a phisher attacks a victim he makes sure to take full advantage of the opportunity and attacks all the devices including the desktops and even the smartphones; leading to complete wreck in the system.

How does a ransomware attack work?

The attacks vectors it’s way to the victim because of his own activities. When the victim clicks on unauthorised links, e-mails containing malicious attachments, compromised websites or sometimes drive-by downloads; the malware gets downloaded automatically and infects the system. 

Another method used by phishers to trap their victims is the use of cyber threat actors. This method is a combination of spear-phishing and ransomware. When the attacker intends to attack a specific person, this method stands by far most successful. After mining all the information, the phisher contacts the victim, win the trust and then attack him by persuading him to click the malicious link or attachment. Using actors in such attacks helps in gaining more money or ransom in comparison to sending mass e-mails or messages. 

Top 3 important steps for mitigation of ransomware attack

  • Incidental response plan- This is very similar to cybersecurity training where the employees of an organization are trained on how to prevent, respond and identify various phishing attacks. During the ransomware attack, the employees, employer or individual are trained on how to respond to a ransomware attack.
  • Anti-spam and antivirus- The antivirus and anti-spam solutions are your go-to preventive measures when it comes to phishing attacks. Make sure you upgrade them time-to-time for better protection.
  • Backups are saviors- The main element of a ransomware attack is stealing or encryption of important data. If you already own a backup of all the important data which you know may cause trouble if it gets stolen or deleted, it will significantly mitigate the loss caused by an attack.

Facts and figures

  • The bar graph below is the clear representation of the growth in damage and cost of ransomware which shows a whopping increase to an estimated $20billion dollar in 2020 alone
be-prudent-towards-cybersec-growthstats

To sum up final thoughts

The greed for quick and easy money by people with ill-intentions has stooped them down to a level where they use their brightest brains to weave ideas for trapping people. The ransomware attacks are getting more and more sophisticated which is making it difficult to avoid or prevent them. However, with proper training and preventive measures as stated above; the task doesn’t seem impossible. Therefore, its high time one must get alert with the activities online to save oneself and businesses from huge losses.

Don’t let new tactics get you phished!

Don’t let new tactics get you phished!

Evolving and progressing in life goes hand in hand. One must always make efforts to progress so life doesn’t get stagnant. However, in recent years phishers seem to have taken this mantra way too seriously; as every year they tend to come up with new tactics to phish their victims. Just with the onset of the new decade, phishers came up with a new technique to swindle victims using the same old phishing technique but with a new twist to make it look more genuine and easy to trick.

What is the hype all about?

In the month of January this year, computer expert Terence Eden brought into the knowledge of people about a new trick that is being used by the phishers. Reportedly, the phishers sent a message to his wife masquerading themselves to be from EE asking for personal information using a different type of URL. Fortunately, Eden’s wife was not a user of EE; however, Eden did manage to notice a weird and new thing in the message. The message read:

As can be clearly seen in the URL above, the phishers have managed to use three elements to make it look genuine.

  1. The use of HTTPS://
  2. Using the real and official subdomain, that is ee.co.uk and,
  3. The main element of the date, that is Jan 02

What is the cause of concern

The elements as stated above has caught all the attention and also the causes of concern.

  1. Use of HTTPS:// – One of the main concerns and reason to worry about is the throwaway prices at which the domain servers provide sub-domain these days. Anyone can easily get access to domain names of popular and established companies, making it difficult for non-tech savvy and people unaware of such attacks to become prey of one. These hoax websites manage to get the SSL certificates due to which the sign of lock is shown in the address bar; which makes the whole act look even more real.
  2. The ee.co.uk was just a subdomain that was replicated and constructed by adding other information which is usually not added in phishing e-mails, making them look more genuine.
  3. The current date was added in the URL which is a new card played by the phisher. When a potential victim comes across such a message, they see “jan02.info” which makes them believe that the link has been directed from the company itself.

How to protect yourself from such attacks?

One can find multiple alternatives to save oneself from phishing attacks like security awareness training, e-mail filters, etc. but to tackle this specific new type of phishing using DMARC protocol has to be your best bet.

DMARC is an abbreviation for domain-based message authentication, reporting, and conformance. This is a protocol that further uses a combination of two frameworks namely, sender policy framework (SPF) and DomainKeys identified mail (DKIM) to authenticate the legitimacy of a website. When the SPF and DKIM fail in proving the authenticity of an e-mail, only then the DMARC protocol works towards protecting the user.

When a DMARC policy is properly configured, it helps the user in deciding whether or not to accept or reject an e-mail from a particular sender. When you use a DMARC for protecting your brand or your individual information, it saves you from receiving messages from unauthorized senders.

DMARC not only protects you from receiving e-mails from phishers but its reports also provide you with information on people who are sending e-mails to other people using the name or domain of your company.

Finally, DMARC does more than just identifying and analyzing e-mails and bogus websites. It also helps in creating a community which helps in establishing a policy that authenticates the messages in circulation. When this happens the overall email environment becomes a safe and secure one.

According to research, more than 70% of e-mails around the globe are fake, 30% of these phishing emails are opened by victims, 9 out of 10 emails have some form of ransomware in it and steady growth of over 4,00,000 phishing sites from the year 2016 has been observed. If these figures were enough to spook you, there is more to it. Therefore before you become one of the victims of such attacks, get your DMARC program installed today.

To sum up final thoughts

The beginning of the new decade has brought with itself some new risks as well. Phishers are trying their best to stay one step ahead and trick people into traps. However, as an aware netizen, you must try not to fall in such a trap and be alert with the link and websites you are visiting. Keeping track of all the new tricks used by phishers and the precautions available to protect oneself will help you in the long run.

TIKAJ’s Anti-phishing service will help secure your intangible treasure.

Make anti-phishing solutions ride shotgun in your company’s modus operandi

Make anti-phishing solutions ride shotgun in your company’s modus operandi

A person is always very particular and vigilant when it comes to his or her close one’s secrets. They try to protect it while keeping their lives on stake. This is because they understand the sensitivity and tenderness of the secret and the chaos it can create if they beans get spilled. The same situation works for a company as well. The business owner or the core workers know they sweat and blood they had to invest to make they the company stand at the position it stands today. Therefore, it becomes their utmost priority to safeguard not only the company’s sensitive data but also the reputation and trust the employees and customers lay in it.

The company holds a lot of important matters with it which includes the data, finance, intellectual and intangible property. The security of these elements is as important as the assets itself. When these elements get into the hands of attackers, it can land the company into problems with irreversible consequences. Therefore along with proper awareness among the employers and employees, effective solutions are equally vital. With the advancement of technology and a detailed analysis of the pattern of the attacks by phishers, a number of solutions are now available which can help the company in the long run.

Need for anti-phishing solutions

The need for any solution or service can be best understood by the urgency of its use. Starting with the statistics, in 2018 alone around 880 million phishing e-mails and messages were detected around the globe.

Phishing e-mails disguise themselves as if they are from familiar websites or companies. The e-mails are usually sent in bulk which is a time and cost-efficient method of catching prey. They add attachments or links which contain malware and ransomware making them very dangerous even if a victim clicks on it. Although the phishers have now specialized and upgraded their game, where they attack their victims by creating personalized e-mails for them, which increases the success rate of them falling for it.

The scariest and worrisome part of a phishing attack is that if the attacker gets access to your data, it will months before you could even detect the breach. Even after you detect the breach, it will take you months to contain and get back on its feet to control the damage. This gives the phishers straight-eight months of a headstart to continue with their malicious venture. These reasons add up as to why every company is under the radar of the phishers and how important are these anti-phishing solutions.

How do anti-phishing solutions work?

  • Scans the incoming e-mails- The most important feature of an anti-phishing solution is to scan the e-mails. This is because most phishers make their way into your device through the malicious e-mails they send you. When you click these links or attachments the malware infects your device. However, when you install anti-phishing solutions to your system, the software intercepts the e-mails and lets you know whether or not the e-mail is safe to go ahead with.
  • Processes smart quarantine- You might be wondering what if your important e-mails are marked as spam or get blocked and never reaches you. However, the anti-phishing solutions provide you with smart quarantine which means it will never mess up with your important e-mails or mark it as junk.
  • Real-time blocking of malicious URLs and links- No matter how aware or experience you are with surfing the internet, one misclick is enough to infect your whole network. Therefore, installing a proper anti-phishing solution will stop you in the first place from loading into malicious webpages or clicking on the links. So now you can safely surf the internet and without worrying about malicious webpages or links.
  • Protects all the devices other than a computer- While a number of excellent solutions are available for protecting your computer; there is a lack of cybersecurity options for your mobile phones. As more and more people prefer using their phones for carrying out most of their activities, having proper security options for your phone is equally important. Anti-phishing solutions come as a good tiding as it includes multiple software for protection of your mobile phone and similar devices as well.
  • Prevention from spoofing- If your website earns a lot of traffic or is gaining popularity, you may be a possible target of phishers. They spoof your website and misuse it under your name. Phishers these days also use a number of spoofing e-mails that you might receive. In such cases, anti-phishing solutions sniff out any incoming spoofed e-mail or help in detecting spoofed websites; decreasing truckload of the responsibility off you.

Some final thoughts

It is an important step for all companies to educate and create awareness among the employer and employees regarding the prevalence of phishing attacks and all the possible techniques used by them to phish their victims. It is equally important for them to provide insights as to how these attacks can affect the company in multiple ways. Having said that, the implementation of only security awareness training is not enough for providing all-round security for the company. Every company must install software which can ensure that any kind of phishing attack can be prevented both at the internal and external level; which gets us to the conclusion that anti-phishing solutions are a must in every company or individual’s modus operandi.

Puerto-Rico-Government-Loses-millions

Puerto Rico Government Loses $2.6M Due To Email Phishing

Industrial Development Company of Puerto Rico was hit by a phishing scam which cost the government agency more than $2.6 million.

According to this report  the phishing scam started targeting the company in January and the government-owned organization performed the transaction on January 17th.

The organization allegedly received an email alleging a shift to a bank account linked to remittance payments, which is a transfer of money to a person in their home country.

The agency lodged a police complaint about the scam, but further concerns about how the scam was discovered, whether the activities of the agency have been compromised are still unprecedented. 

Phishing attacks have evolved to such an extent that the statistics relating to this subject are quite disconcerting. According to the FBI, in 2019 alone IC3 received a total of 467,361 complaints with reported losses exceeding $3.5 billion. Phishing and Data Breach were among the most prevalent crimes reported last year.

Tips to avoid Phishing scam

  1. Train Employees

    Any organization is only as strong as its weakest employee, so it is necessary to train and educate staff regarding phishing. This training really needs to be delivered on an ongoing basis as well, and they should be educated with different methods for maximum reach.
    Use Phishing Simulation services like PhishGrid to train and educate users regarding phishing attacks and attempts.

  2. Avoid Shortened Links

    Everyone has seen great offers/links on different social media platforms and some of them are useful. Avoid these types of links unless you’re sure about its authenticity.

  3. Verify Site Security

    Whenever you’re entering sensitive financial information or any form of private data, it is essential to verify the security of the site to which you are submitting it.

  4. Be Vigilant

    When dealing with phishing attacks the key is simply to be sensible and vigilant at all times. Never click on the links, download files, or open any email attachments without confirming their authenticity.

  5. Use Anti Phishing Solutions

    TIKAJ provides an end-to-end Anti-Phishing Solutions, from monitoring & detection of phishing incidents, through to the site take-down incident response and take-down of an incident. Using in-house developed machine learning algorithms we detect, analyze and proactively dismantling the systems and illicit services cybercriminals depend upon to carry out phishing attacks.

How to save yourself from falling into the “phishing trap”?

How to save yourself from falling into the “phishing trap”?

When we hear the word Phishing, what image do we visualize exactly? Don’t we see a fisherman, sitting with a fishing stick to trap fishes? Yes, we do.

Oh! I think I’ve made a small mistake. I wrote “Phishing” instead of “Fishing”. But was it really a mistake that was made? No. I’ve written it deliberately. But why?

Phishing is a thing which is actually the same as fishing, though not literally. In “Fishing”, a fisherman makes TRAPs for fishes to get trapped and here Dodgers prepare TRAPs for users to get trapped. The only difference is in the techniques. Formally phishing is mainly a cybercrime. It is a fraudulent attempt of getting personal and sensitive information like passwords, pin codes, debit and credit card details by cloning oneself as a trustable entity in electronic communication like Gmail, telephone or text messages.

TRAP

As mentioned above, we are also trapped by the TRAPs. If you think that it was a sarcastic comment, then let us get you a clear picture as to what we meant by it.

Let us be aware of the TRAP:

T – Tab nabbing

It is a kind of phishing attack and computer exploitation that persuades users to submit their login details along with passwords to renowned websites by impersonating those sites along with convincing the user that the site is authentic. 

R – Redirection (Covert Redirection)

Redirection refers to Covert Redirection. It is a subtle procedure to perform phishing attacks that make links appear legitimate but actually redirecting it to a forger’s or attacker’s account.

A – Adulteration (Website Forgery)

The word “Adulteration” means Forgery. This refers to Website Forgery. Some forgers can use JavaScript commands in order to change the address bar of the website they lead to. This is performed either by placing an image of a legitimate URL over the address bar or by eliminating the original bar and opening up a new one with the legitimate URL. 

P – Pageant (Clone Phishing)

The pageant is the synonym to clone or disguise. It is a type of phishing attack where phishing takes place through emails. It is a type where a legitimate and pre-delivered email containing an attachment or link which has its content and recipient address(es) taken and used to prepare an almost identical or cloned email. 

Consequences

As you are quite aware of the TRAP, now we can easily get into its consequences. 

We are quite aware of the term OTP, right? We are also aware of its full form and what OTP means. It’s a One-Time Password. But presently, it defines something else. Its present abbreviation is Officially Trapping People. Maybe it sounds ridiculous but this is the actual fact. 

OTP (One-Time Password) is considered an effective deterrent against cybercriminals trying to extort money from the bank through online transactions. 

There are many such cases where criminals fooled customers and forced them to reveal their OTP, accessed it by android hacking or learned how to hack OTP of other mobile numbers. But now, they found another way of looting. They request your bank to change your phone number linked with a bank account. A cybercriminal can smartly walk into the bank, impersonate you, request a change in the registered number and use the connection to receive the OTP. Impersonation is a quick and simple process to carry out an OTP theft. 

A resident of Janakpuri in Delhi has been duped by a criminal, who was victimized by losing Rs11.5 lakh from his current account recently by impersonation, according to a TOI report.

Police informed on August 31, that two persons arrived at the bank and one of them impersonated the account holder. They requested alteration in the registered number and fill in the prescribed form. After registering the new one, they carried out online transfers from the victim’s account using the OTPs sent to the new mobile number. They withdrew Rs11.5 lakh and transferred to six different accounts held in a bank in Dwarka and then further withdrawn through ATMs and cheques. After the crime was committed, they just switched their number off. 

There is another way of OTP theft. Criminals can dupe a bank customer by contacting the mobile operator with fake identity proof and get a mimicked SIM card. When the operator deactivates the original SIM, the criminal generates OTP on the new number and conducts online transactions and this is how to hack OTP of other mobile numbers.

Conclusion

It is becoming impossible day by day for banks and the government to take preventive measures and make the customers aware of such transactions. If you’re now aware of what OTP means (Officially Trapping People), kindly take precautionary measures. Don’t give your personal and sensitive details to anyone. Don’t fall for a better opportunity and don’t get trapped into the TRAP of the fraudsters.

TIKAJ’s Anti-phishing service will help secure your intangible treasure.

Identify-holiday-phiser

How to discern Santa disguised phishers this holiday?

Holiday season is around which means the season of sending and receiving gifts and pleasantries is here as well. According to a report, a whopping $143 billion is spent by customers just between Thanksgiving and New Year. This stands as a very happy figure for the phishers and scammers to rake in through the bank accounts of the customers.

You must have noticed a flooded inbox filled with e-mails and text messages luring to indulge in those vouchers from your favorite shopping mall or discount coupons from your go-to food joint. Free giveaways, life-changing lotteries you never enrolled for or charity messages shouldn’t fool you to fall prey to greedy phishers waiting to make quick bucks this holiday season.

If you receive e-mails, message or even calls which makes offers too good be true, its time you double or triple check, before you give in to them. These messages could have malware which once clicked could empty your bank account even before you realize it, pouring cold water on your happiness and warmth this holiday season.

Holiday phishing like every season is on a rise this year too. Save yourself and your loved ones with this informative article which gives you insights regarding every important detail you need to know about holiday phishing.

SIGNS TO IDENTIFY HOLIDAY PHISHERS

Phishers as their occupation asks for, are very clever. One can take phishing emails examples or messages which are sent by them look that very genuine and appealing. However, to save yourself from these traps, we have mentioned a few important points which will help you in identifying them.

Identify-holiday-phisher
  • Hoax shipping notifications:
    With holiday season around, the number of orders placed online increases. Phishers take advantage of this situation and send emails or messages quoting a fake order number and other details being shipped to you. One must not fall for such messages even under curiosity; they should inquire with the retailer or track the order online through their registered account.
  • Fake charities:
    As the irony serves, the gratuitous nature of phishers erupts as well during the holiday season. They may text or email you, claiming to be a charity and asking for donations. Make sure you check the legitimacy of the charity house and make sure it exists and works for the same cause as for which you are making donations.
  • Long-lost friend:
    Phishers knows when the iron is hot so they can hit the rod. The holiday season is one time of the year when all the friends get back in touch. Phishers can easily get access to your contact or friend’s list and send you emails personating to be someone you know. Before replying to the message you must double-check whether the person who claims to be the person you know is the same; also warn your friend if you think their contact list may have got compromised.
  • Social media “the new pool of phishers” :
    With a large number of traffic being active on social media, criminal intentions are bound to get followed. While surfing social media make sure you check the links you click as the phishers may use URL shorteners to lead you to sites which will install malware on your device and then get easy access to all the data. To save yourself from such compromising situations make sure you check links for typo errors or repeated letters to identify imposter website.

TYPES OF HOLIDAY PHISHING

Phishers have come forward with different ways to trap people and loot them this holiday season like every year. Below are mentioned a few phishing attack types.

  1. Fake apps and websites

    The time between thanksgivings to New Year is that one time where people indulge of all ages enjoys shopping. With the advancement of technology, people have started to rely more on online sources to buy presents; which turns out to be a treat for phishers. When the victim gets attracted to really exciting offers and decides to purchase things from non-verified apps or websites, they fall into the trap of phishers. In this type of phishing scheme, the victim first receives an email which directs them to fill their payment details and other banking credentials after which the phishers drains out all the money off the victim’s account.

  2. Skimmers of credit cards

    A skimmer of credit card is a small malicious device which criminals use by attaching it to a payment terminal like one at the gas station, ATM or similar kiosk. When a customer uses such a compromised terminal, the skimmer can create a copy of the debit or credit card and also capture the PIN number. To protect yourself from falling into such a situation one must first look at terminal and see if anything is out of its place, try jiggling the card reader and if it moves around then there could be something wrong. Other than these measures one must try bot save card’s information on retail sites, enable purchase alerts on all the cards and disable any international purchase.

  3. Juice jacking

    Holidays calls for parties especially with huge public gatherings and late night outings. Using public chargers and USBs is very common when the battery of phones get drained out. This is when the term juice jacking comes into play. When you put your phone for charging process, the USB or power cable get illegitimate access to your phone and malicious code may get injected onto your phone making all your private and sensitive information vulnerable in the hands of the person with ill-intentions. In simple words, juice jacking leads to an invasion of your privacy on the use of infected USB cable or injecting malicious code directly into your phone, whose damage could be irreversible in many cases.

Conclusion

The holiday season is a time of merrymaking both for normal people and phishers. It is a prime crime time for holiday phishers who trap people by sending them infected emails, messages and tricking them into purchasing things from hoax websites. To make this time of the year merrier for yourself and your loved ones, be aware and spread awareness about such phishers, different phishing attack types by giving them phishing emails examples and such other messages and by asking them to stay more careful while surfing the internet this season.

malware-virus

Emotet malware being presented to people this Christmas, through Greta Thunberg themed Phishing emails

A global spam email scheme has been discovered which is using Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg themed emails to lure users.

Spam consists of a single message that attempts to deliver the well-known malware Emotet

Emotet was discovered back in 2014 as a banking Trojan aimed at stealing financial data. It has now  gone through several iterations and has emerged as one of the most destructive malware aimed at the financial domain.

A recent research discovered this widespread campaign using Greta Thunberg’s name to lure users into downloading Emotet malware.

The email consists of the subject line “Support Greta Thunberg” which invites the recipient to join the protest against the government raising concern against the threat of climate change.

Details regarding the fake protest are included in a file attached to the email. When opened, the file will install Emotet malware onto the recipient’s device.

Image showing an example how the phishing email may look like
Image showing an example how the phishing email may look like

Users should be able to view the malware file in the outdated .doc format for Microsoft Word. The email itself contains multiple spelling and grammatical errors, something anyone would not anticipate from the newly crowned Time Person of the Year 2019.

This campaign is targeting people around the globe with the most targeted victims in Japan, Germany, Italy, UAE, Australia, and the UK. Recipients are also told to forward and promote the malicious email to their good wishers, meaning the campaign has rapidly spread across the world.

This malicious campaign suggests that attackers don’t hesitate to use the face of even famous entities with good intentions. They tend to exploit the factor of public awareness and interest cleverly.

Better to be prepared for such attacks before hand. Train your organizations, friends, family because humans are the last line of defence after a phish bypasses the other technologies. Checkout our Phishing simulation and training solution PhishGrid.

To know more about How to identify a phishing email, read some useful insight here.

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Your brochure as to why anti-phishing services are your best bet

One of the most infamous phishing techniques involves spawning of fake copies of any login page and then making the victims sign in through that page to trick the user for receiving the credentials.

This common technique of laying a phishing trap is very common and consists of about 7% of cybercrime all over the world. The newcomers in the world of the internet are more prone to fall victims to such technique, hence they require an expert methodology to help prevent such cases. This brings us to the concept of anti-phishing software.

Generally, anti-phishing software first checks the webpage which is being loaded on the web browser. If the page does not match with the database of that particular service, then the page is considered as safe and only then it is sent to the web browser to be rendered. However, the main question which arises is whether it is worth using and investing in such anti-phishing software? Just like every other thing in this world, every product, situation, etc. has two aspects: pros and cons. The important point is whether to consider it or not. Keeping a note of all the pro and cons of anti-phishing services will help you in deciding the answer to the aforementioned question. This article includes both positive and negative points and a comparison with a judgement suggestion about whether anti-phishing software is worth using or not.

People enter the world of the internet right from their teenage but nowadays children of age around 5-6 years are capable of making accounts on various websites. This initiates the risk of falling prey to phishing traps. Such users have no idea how to differentiate between fake and original pages, how this phishing work and hence they become easy victims. While loading a phishing page, the anti-phishing services, before loading the page checks whether or not the page actually belongs to the website of which it claims to be. Consider the example of Facebook. The anti-phishing software will first check if the Sign-in page actually belongs to Facebook. It also checks where the page is sending data after the user logs in. The anti-phishing software then evinces it on the screen if the page seems safe. Phishing links are also sent via emails, and such services work to check if the link in the email is actually a safe one or a phishing link.

Anti-phishing software has proved to be very effective against phishing attacks over the internet in the past couple of years. It has accounted as proof that these services actually work, but to what extent, that cannot be properly calculated. A lot of companies around the world provide anti-phishing services, and these services usually come in-built in Internet security. Companies, which manufacture anti-virus software, also manufacture internet security, which includes anti-phishing services. These internet security services work mainly by protecting users from entering into fake web pages that might steal their important information over the internet by any false means. This sure does include phishing pages.

PROS AND CONS

Since this software first checks the webpage, it makes loading each and every webpage slower. Sometimes it is also possible that these services mistakenly mark a safe page as a threat. If a user is doing internet banking, it might be possible that the user might get stuck in a mishap. The fund transfer procedure might be accidentally considered as an illegal operation carried out to steal money via internet banking. In such case the transaction may never complete, however, such incidents are almost none and hence it should not be a point to actually worry about.

However, many times other webpages can also be misunderstood as a phishing page. In such a case, if the user is sure that it is safe to proceed, then that page can be marked as safe. Many times if a user proceeds in an unsafe environment on the internet, then the anti-virus installed in the computer blocks any attempts to spread the virus incoming from the internet. Hence, it is suggested to have an anti-virus system along with an anti-phishing service (can be internet security).

FINAL INFERENCE

Since the advantages are really impressive and the disadvantages are something, which can be taken care of, it is advised to use anti-phishing services, as it provides great security throughout the internet session. The negative points of these services can be tackled easily. Investing a small amount of money in such services can save a lot more than you can think of as problems do not knock the door before coming, and these services can easily protect without any effort from the user’s side. The services are made in such a way that it works in the background and does not make the user feel disturbed during any transaction carried out on the internet.

CONCLUSION

Until now, these services have shown only positive results and not even a single case has come to light where such service has created problems to the user in the entire world. If a user is using a computer system, then it is not difficult for it to maintain an anti-phishing service, as it does not cost much and makes a user go tension free from almost all cyber-attacks with this effective service in hand.

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Online fraud : Bulwark Your Online Payments From Phishers

Development in the world of Internet has gained a lot of popularity, primarily due to the ease of use and widespread support of supporting technologies. There is no denying to the fact that to some extent the hassle-free living of the people these days is due to the most advanced technological era. Online payments have eased the lives of a common man, such as standing in long queues for money withdrawal is no longer required. But at the same time, the crimes associated with the advent of these technologies have also surged. With an increase in online opportunities, there is an increase in the online fraud types and various other fraudulent techniques done by the fraudsters.

What is online payment?

The Internet is quickly becoming the first stop for people for buying products and services which has further given rise to numerous payment systems over the internet.

Online payment is defined as a transfer of an electronic value of payment from payer to the payee through some kinds of electronic mechanism and generally, the content of this exchange is made through some form of digital financial instruments such as credit card numbers, electronic checks and digital cash. Transactions in remote payment cases in which the consumer and merchant are not interacting face-to-face are also defined as CNP transactions.

This list consists of top frauds that occured in 2018.

According to the USA Department of Justice (DOJ), e-fraud is defined as “a fraud scheme that uses one or more components of the Internet – such as chat rooms, e-mails, message boards, or web sites – to present fraudulent solicitations to prospective victims, to conduct fraudulent transactions, or to transmit the proceeds of fraud to the financial institution or to other connected with the scheme”

Common assumptions and reality regarding online payments

Although many people believe that online payments are easy, past records state that many times online payments call for fraud. On one hand, the introduction of online payments or CNP transactions makes it much more attractive and useful for both consumers and businesses. On the other hand, since the authentication of card or cardholder is not possible physically, the possibility of frauds is higher.

In order to understand how online payments are more likely to make a person fall in a trap of fraudsters, let us understand one of the most common online fraud types that occur – Phishing. It won’t be wrong to say that online payment has become a new phishing scammer’s target.

It has been estimated that each year online payment fraud causes loss to billions of dollars. Payment fraud is a serious assault that causes billion dollars loss every year. Furthermore, fraudsters use recently developed techniques and methods for obtaining cardholder’s personal and financial information. Research states that Fraudsters often use stolen account information to reach other accounts.

Phishing is one of the most common techniques used by fraudsters to obtain confidential information of the user and they do this by posing themselves as a trusted authority.  It is a way to collect banking details and other sensitive information through emails that contain attachments or hyperlinks. Therefore it is important to understand what phishing emails are.

The fraudsters send an email in such a way that it appears to be a mail from an authorized organization. Whenever an individual click on an attachment or a hyperlink present in the email, it causes the system to get infected by malware. As a result, whenever a user makes an online transaction, the malware gets activated and steals all the personal information including credit card numbers and pin number. This makes it easy for the fraudsters to carry out any financial transaction. The spammers use professional-looking emails that include logos, graphics, and many other elements. On the other hand, the content of such emails is written in such a way that it confuses, upsets or excites the recipient. As the user many a time doesn’t have an idea about what is phishing emails, it gets easier for the phishers to trick the user.

A phishing attack is not only associated with authentic-looking emails, but it can also be associated with fraudulent web pages. Phishers design web pages visually similar to real web pages in order to spoof readers. These spoofed web pages also include a graphical user interface in order to lure the users to enter their personal information such as username, password, credit card details, and much other sensitive information.

The entire process of online transaction begins with the consumers providing their sensitive personal information which is transmitted over various unsecured networks. Many times, the payment systems are not secure enough to protect and prevent the personal information of an individual from attack or attempts from the fraudsters.

Conclusion

Therefore, it can be concluded that although online payments have made the lives of people much easier, it is not completely safe. A little lack of attention can make your online transactions unsecured and therefore it is important to understand various online fraud types.

TIKAJ’s Security services will help secure your online transactions.

How to save yourself from falling into the “phishing trap”?

INDIA: THE NEW FOSTER GROUND FOR PHISHERS

India is progressing fast towards digitization and a cashless economy. Every person now owns a smartphone and is equipped with an internet connection. More and more people are indulging in online transactions and youngsters are hooked to online apps. There is a surge in the growth of e-commerce websites. They are catering to all our needs from food to clothing. It would not be wrong to say that a whole new digital infrastructure has been set up. The whole ‘technology’ thing has become an inseparable part of our lives. While we all are too busy in ushering to the benefits of the technology, we have overlooked its potential threats. Yes, with the increase in the use of technology, the risk of cyber fraud has also gone up. We all are exposed to cyber fraud-related risks like never before. While there is a range of cyber threats, phishing has come out to be one of the most devious threats.

The Oxford Dictionary defines “Phishing” as: “The fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers online”. It is basically tricking people to reveal sensitive information about them over the internet. A typical phishing attack involves the following stages:

  • It starts by sending a large number of spoofed emails to random internet users.
  • The mails seem to be from a legitimate source urges users to perform some action.
  • As the users click on the link provided in the email, they are directed to a clone website created by the phishing attackers.
  • Now, the users are tricked to reveal sensitive information about them. This information can easily be accessed by the attacker to be exploited in the future.

There has been a steady increase in Phishing scams all over the world. The situation is no different in India. The trend of going digital has made it quite attractive to phishers. It ranks among the top five nations targeted by phishing. Not just a favorite of phishing attackers, but India is also a top phishing hosting country as well. A recent report of an IT security firm Sophos says that every one in two organizations in India has been hit by phishing emails. This speaks volumes of the growing threat of phishing into our digital infrastructure.

Financial institutions are always the main targets of phishers in India. Incidents of phishing attempts have been reported from ICICI Bank, UTI Bank, HDFC Bank and State Bank of India. The modus operandi of attack was similar in all these cases. The customer received legitimate seeming emails with fraudulent links which tricked them to divulge important information. This information was later used for various illegal transactions. Air India, the only government-owned airline of India also became a prey to a sophisticated phishing scam in 2017. The attack was carried out by Nigerian hackers and Air India lost $ 300,000 to them. These are examples of some major incidents. However, there are several small incidents of phishing that take place every day around the various parts of the country. From top officials to common people, no one has been spared from the phishing attackers. This also speaks about the lack of awareness of cybersecurity in India. People are neither aware of the possible cyber threats, nor do they know about the policies and procedures to be followed in case of a possible attack. However, it would be incorrect to say that only a lack of awareness is responsible for the growing phishing scams in India.  The people who are aware of phishing are also being attacked by means of advanced phishing techniques like URL obfuscation. 

Thus, we can see how phishing is a major concern in the contemporary digital environment of India. The major reason behind all the phishing scams is the lack of awareness among the users, who are relatively new to the internet realm. Measures should be taken to spread awareness and educate customers about the menace of phishing and use of anti-phishing techniques. They must be taught to stay vigilant and should avoid following any links blindly. Secondly, the businesses that are continuously onto the radar of phishing attackers, need to actively research and adopt the best security protocols and procedures of the industry. They should continuously strive to find the security gaps in their system and how to bridge them because it is better to stay safe than be sorry.

Conclusion

To conclude, customers and organizations need to stay aware and equip themselves with the latest technology in anti-phishing techniques. Proper monitoring, analysis, detection, and a little proactiveness can go a long way in safeguarding against phishing scams.

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