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The sneaky ways online privacy and security are being compromised

A new report by Norton has revealed the latest scams cyber criminals have deployed the past quarter with phishing scams in the top spot.

user iconReporter
Fri, 21 Oct 2022
The sneaky ways online privacy and security are being compromised
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Norton Labs, the global research team at NortonLifeLock, leveraged on the company’s global threat telemetry for its quarterly Consumer Cyber Safety Pulse Report, which detailed the top consumer cyber security threats and insights from July through September 2022.

According to Norton Labs, this September in Australia, it was revealed there were over 9.5 million blocks in that 30-day period to deal with that level of threat. The researchers analysed recent attacks on top companies that were compromised through stolen login credentials.

The campaigns were designed to steal the information that could later be monetised against victims. The goal was to undermine the trusted technologies used to send automated emails, authentication codes and an entire companys single sign-on.

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Norton blocked:

  • 303,266 million phishing attempts
  • 577,438 million file threats
  • 1,432 thousand mobile threats
  • 39 thousand ransomware attacks

According to Jeff Nathan, technical director and researcher at NortonLifeLock, consumers should use FIDO U2F tokens everywhere they can, as they aren’t susceptible to these phishing attacks.

“Cyber criminals have become experts at catching one-time codes used in most two-factor authentication and they know that by undermining the systems that send the codes, their efforts are even more effective,” Nathan added.

Cyber criminals are also turning to scam e-shops offering electronics, jewellery, clothes, and everything in between to lure victims.

These sites often seem legitimate with polished storefronts, positive reviews, ties to social media accounts and more. Once you place an order, you may receive a counterfeit item or nothing at all.

According to the US Federal Trade Commission, there were 397,826 reports of online shopping fraud in 2021, totalling $392 million in losses.

Norton Labs has warned shoppers to watch out for prices that may be too good to be true, be wary of sites that request unusual payment-processing methods and to beware of social media ads and unsolicited messages. Using a URL lookup tool like Norton Safe Web can also let shoppers know if a site is already known to be a malicious domain or scam domain.

Another alarming discovery from Norton Labs is that 80 per cent of websites share search terms with advertisers either accidentally or deliberately.

Trackers can gain information from website visits, such as a user’s IP address, the website’s content, domain and more the Norton Labs researchers added.

This offers third parties a user’s search terms which can include sensitive information like medical concerns or family and legal situations. Advertisers may then use these characteristics to target ads in unexpected or potentially uncomfortable ways.

[Related: Germany’s cyber security chief sacked due to ‘Russia ties’]

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