Friday, November 25, 2016

Be careful on Black Friday

The best of the week in Cybersecurity


Today is Friday, but not an ordinary one. It's Black Friday. You already knew it. You have spent several weeks thinking about what to buy. Discounts of 30%, 50%, up to 70% will make you end up spending more money than you expected, because you will end up buying stuff you didn't  plan.

Since 1975, the fourth Friday of November was officially established as the beginning of Christmas shopping, in order to reduce the crowds in the stores in December. Over the years it was called Black Friday because deficit red numbers became surplus black numbers for many businesses. And that's because a lot of Santa Claus and Wise Kings (in Spain) take advantage of this day to buy Christmas gifts, before the products return to the original prices.

But before taking out your bank card and start buying all these wonderful and irresistible online offers, you should know that cybercriminals are as excited about it as you. Or more!

This week, Intel Security announced a list of the most hackable gifts for this holiday season, described by Help Net Security on their website. In the top positions we can find smartphones and tablets (52%), laptops and desktop computers (33%), home automation devices (26%), music players and streaming sticks (25%) and, increasing, drones (20%).

A mobile phone or a computer can be hackable, we all know it. But if you ever thought of buying a pair of headphones because it's the only thing that can be safe from being hackable, we are sorry to tell you that researchers at Ben Gurion University in Israel have discovered how to turn them into a microphone and use them to record all your conversations. And if you, by any chance, were thinking of investing your savings in a Tesla car, this week we have found out that employees from the company Promon in Oslo managed to hack one by using a simple Android app and took control of the vehicle very easily.

Special attention to phishing

Apart from that wish-list full of technological desires that can be hacked, it's important to take into account another type of danger on Black Friday, according to report made by Kaspersky Lab. During this period of sales, phishing increases by 9% compared to the rest of the year. In addition, at this time, online stores are suffering many more phishing attacks than banks. 

One trend that cybercriminals are repeating every year is to create fake websites and relate them to Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas. They copy the original page and their payment systems to make users fall into the trap, as we can see in this image of a false Amazon website.





Source: Kaspersky Lab

Although other times, cybercriminals create fake e-commerce websites from scratch. All this effort, what for? In order to collect credit card information from their victims. They try to attract them with very cheap prices of popular brands, and when the user proceeds to pay, they steal all the data.

Among the tips offered by experts to avoid unwanted surprises on Black Friday and the holiday shopping in December, we can find: connect only to secure Wi-Fi networks, have your software updated, use a strong password. Moreover, make your login safer with multiple authentication systems and check links before clicking on them. But above all, don't open those links that come from social networks and unknown websites.

Whatever you do, whatever you spend, make sure your new technological devices are properly protected and up-to-date. Cybercriminals are willing to steal your personal data, infect you with malware and use your device to launch DDoS attacks. Keep your eyes open and check the authenticity of the websites if you are buying online on this Black Friday. You will not want to remember it as a black day because your money was stolen from your bank card.

And, by the way, don't spend all your money today. Remember Cyber Monday is next week!


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