As the World Cup buzz (thankfully not that of the notorious Vuvuzela’s) gets louder make sure you can protect your employees, students or other web users and most importantly yourself, from phishing, scams and other dangerous nasty stuff during and likely lingering after, this year’s World Cup in Brazil.
Kaspersky Lab’s Senior Security Researcher, Fabio Assolini revealed that in Brazil alone there are 50-60 new phishing domains detected and blocked each day. World Cup hype of course spreads far beyond the country hosting this year’s much anticipated event, resulting in multi-national concern for user safety.
Sophisticated design presents legitimate-looking web pages– often using recognisable brand graphics, such as Mastercard/Visa etc, photos of well-known personalities – prompting users to enter personal details or download malicious files. These sites can appear to be safe by using ‘https’, the ‘S’ standing for secure is unfortunately a metric we can no longer fully trust, as cyber criminals can now purchase ‘valid’ SSL certificates from certification authorities including Comodo, EssentialSSL, Starfield and more.
Further reinforcing the impressive work of the phishers, these ‘ligit’ looking sites are also served up in mobile format, risking mobile users who click a link on their smartphone or other device. Kaspersky’s Assolini has a few good examples of these risky sites sporting professional design in his blog.
West Spam United
After nabbing a few tips to identify a devious webpage, you may think an email with your full name, address, DOB and mother’s maiden name must be the real deal, I mean they know all of this about you.
Well, unfortunately, you’d be wrong. Breached databases are spilling out from News rooms everywhere, occurring anywhere from huge organisations to SMEs. The stolen data is bought by cybercriminals who gain a wealth of personal information, and can use this to obtain a user’s trust. According to Kaspersky this is one strategy adopted by spammers, an email may state ‘You have won a ticket’ and prompt the user to download a PDF with Trojan banker.
The second option is to send an ‘Impersonal email’, again with a subject hinting at World Cup ticket prizes, or the like. These tend to direct the user to a webpage - via a link in the email – which would contain digitally-signed malware. For example, “To ‘claim’ your ticket print it off” and when clicked the link will point to a digitally-signed Trojan banker.
Send the criminals offside!!
You may think that because you’re not going to Brazil, and you’re not buying any tickets, that you are safe. Unfortunately you are wrong…very wrong. Web users whether in your home, or workplace can be at risk of malware-infected phishing sites and spam emails, these steps can help keep you right.
Interacting with ‘World Cup’ impersonating webpages in an attempt to view online content such as streaming services, can present huge risk to the network and also put great strain on bandwidth. If pages such as these are left running in the background, in a corporate or educational environment, the impact on bandwidth can impinge on business-critical tasks.
To keep Web users secure from spam and phishing this World Cup we can promote (and embrace yourself) here’s some simple tips,
1. *Broken-record-moment* Do NOT click on a link in an email if you are (even slightly) unsure as to who it was sent from, the same goes for opening attachments.
2. Websites with ‘httpS’ are generally more secure than ‘http’ but cannot necessarily be fully trusted.
3. Ensure anti-malware is installed, ensure it blacklists phishing sites, and ENSURE (most importantly) it is up-to-date.
4. Any Web or Email filter must be categorizing in real-time ensuring dangerous sites and emails (both personal and business) are blocked at the point-of-request, and the filter must offer bandwidth control.
Please excuse the Football-related puns, I couldn’t resist