In the ever-growing digital age, our mobile devices contain an alarming amount of personal, sensitive data. From emails, social media accounts, banking applications to payment apps, our personal and financial lives are increasingly entwined with the convenience of online, mobile platforms. However, despite the increasing threat to cyber security, it appears many of us are complacent about protecting our mobile devices.

Survey revealed that many mobile users still use easy-to-remember and easy-to-guess passwords. With such an increasing dependence on mobile devices to handle our daily tasks, it seems unimaginable that many of us leave our important personal data unguarded. Theft or loss of an unsecured mobile device can, and often does, result in a catastrophic loss of privacy and financial security.

Mobile Device Security

The unfortunate reality of our digital era is that devices are lost, misplaced, or stolen every day. A mobile device without password protection is a gold mine for anyone with malicious intent. According to a global survey by McAfee and One Poll, many consumers are largely unconcerned about the security of their personal data stored on mobile devices. To illustrate, only one in five respondents had backed up data on their tablet or smartphone. Even more concerning, 15% admitted they saved password information on their phone.

Such statistics are troubling for several reasons. The most obvious is the risk of personal information —including banking details and online login credentials— falling into the wrong hands. A lost or stolen device is not just a device lost— it’s potentially an identity, a bank account, or worse. The lack of urgency in securing data on mobile devices speaks to a broad consumer misunderstanding about the severity of the threats posed by cybercriminals and the ease with which they can exploit an unprotected device.

Dig Deeper: McAfee 2023 Consumer Mobile Threat Report

The Gender Disparity in Mobile Device Security

Perhaps one of the most surprising findings of the survey is the difference in mobile security behaviors between men and women. This difference illustrates not just a disparity in the type of personal information each group holds dear, but also the degree of risk each is willing to accept with their mobile devices.

Broadly speaking, men tend to place greater value on the content stored on their devices, such as photos, videos, and contact lists. Women, on the other hand, appear more concerned about the potential loss of access to social media accounts and personal communication tools like email. They are statistically more likely to experience online harassment and privacy breaches. This could explain why they are more concerned about the security of their social media accounts, as maintaining control over their online presence can be a way to protect against harassment and maintain a sense of safety.

The loss of a mobile device, which for many individuals has become an extension of their social identity, can disrupt daily life significantly. This distinction illustrates that the consequences of lost or stolen mobile devices are not just financial, but social and emotional as well.

Risky Behaviors Persist

Despite the differences in what we value on our mobile devices, the survey showed a worrying level of risky behavior from both genders. Over half (55%) of respondents admitted sharing their passwords or PIN with others, including their children. This behavior not only leaves devices and data at risk of unauthorized access but also contributes to a wider culture of complacency around mobile security.

Password protection offers a fundamental layer of security for devices, yet many people still choose convenience over safety. Setting a password or PIN isn’t a failsafe method for keeping your data safe. However, it is a simple and effective starting point in the broader effort to protect our digital lives.

Dig Deeper: Put a PIN on It: Securing Your Mobile Devices

Steps to Mobile Device Security

While the survey results raise an alarm, the good news is that we can turn things around. It all begins with acknowledging the risks of leaving our mobile devices unprotected. There are simple steps that can be taken to ramp up the security of your devices and protect your personal information.

First and foremost, password-protect all your devices. This means going beyond your mobile phone to include tablets and any other portable, internet-capable devices you may use. And, while setting a password, avoid easy ones like “1234” or “1111”. These are the first combinations a hacker will try. The more complex your password is, the sturdier a barrier it forms against unauthorized access.

Another important step is to avoid using the “remember me” function on your apps or mobile web browser. Although it might seem convenient to stay logged into your accounts for quick access, this considerably amplifies the risk if your device gets stolen or lost. It’s crucial to ensure you log out of your accounts whenever not in use. This includes email, social media, banking, payment apps, and any other accounts linked to sensitive information.

McAfee Pro Tip: If your phone is lost or stolen, employing a combination of tracking your device, locking it remotely, and erasing its data can safeguard both your phone and the information it contains. Learn more tips on how to protect your mobile device from loss and theft.

Sharing your PIN or password is also a risky behavior that should be discouraged. Admittedly, this might be challenging to implement, especially with family members or close friends. But the potential harm it can prevent in the long run far outweighs the temporary convenience it might present.

Investing in Mobile Security Products

Having highlighted the importance of individual action towards secure mobile practices, it’s worth noting that investing in reliable security software can also make a world of difference. A mobile security product like McAfee Mobile Security, which offers anti-malware, web protection, and app protection, can provide a crucial extra layer of defense.

With app protection, not only are you alerted if your apps are accessing information on your mobile that they shouldn’t, but in the event that someone does unlock your device, your personal information remains safe by locking some or all of your apps. This means that even if your device falls into the wrong hands, they still won’t be able to access your crucial information.

It’s also critical to stay educated on the latest ways to protect your mobile device. Cyber threats evolve constantly, and awareness is your first line of defense. McAfee has designed a comprehensive approach to make the process of learning about mobile security not just informative but also engaging. Our array of resources includes a rich repository of blogs, insightful reports, and informative guides. These materials are meticulously crafted to provide users with a wealth of knowledge on how to protect their mobile devices, ensuring that the learning experience is not only informative but also engaging and enjoyable.

Final Thoughts

While the current state of mobile device security may seem concerning, it’s far from hopeless. By incorporating simple security practices such as setting complex passwords and avoiding shared access, we can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized data access. Additionally, investing in trusted mobile security products like McAfee Mobile Security can provide a robust defense against advancing cyber threats. Remember, our digital lives mirror our real lives – just as we lock and secure our homes, so too must we protect our mobile devices.

#Unprotected #Mobile #Devices #McAfee #Blog

The eagerly awaited holiday sales such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner. As consumers, we look forward to getting the best deals online, but we’re not the only ones. Hackers are also keenly anticipating these holidays but for different reasons. They use this period to come up with all sorts of shopping scams that can potentially put a dampener on the holiday spirit for unsuspecting shoppers.

This article provides you with ten tips to keep you and your family safe from online shopping scams this season. These tips will not only help you spot a good deal but also help you avoid falling prey to online scams, thereby ensuring that you keep your finances safe during this shopping season.

1. Be Cautious of Email Attachments from Retailers and Shippers

A common tactic employed by hackers involves the use of malware hidden in email attachments. During the holiday sales season, they often camouflage their malware in emails that claim to contain offers or shipping notifications. It is important to remember that legitimate retailers and shipping companies will not send offers, promo codes, or tracking numbers as email attachments. Instead, they will mention these details in the body of the email.

Therefore, be wary of any email attachments you receive from retailers or shippers. If something seems off, it probably is. Do not download or open suspicious attachments, as this could potentially lead to a malware attack.

Dig Deeper: McAfee Protects Against Suspicious Email Attachments

2. Thoroughly Review Links and Email Addresses

Scammers often employ a tactic known as “typosquatting,” where they create phony email addresses and URLs that look incredibly similar to the legitimate addresses of well-known companies and retailers. These are often sent via phishing emails, and instead of leading you to great deals, these links can direct you to scam websites that extract your login credentials, payment information, or even directly extract funds from your account when you attempt to place an order through them.

Therefore, it is imperative to double-check all email addresses and URLs before clicking on them. Look out for subtle discrepancies in the spelling or arrangement of characters, as these are often indicators of a scam. If a link or email address seems suspicious, do not click on it.

Dig Deeper: How Typosquatting Scams Work

3. Beware of Copycat Deals and Sites

In continuation with the previous point, scammers also set up websites that resemble those run by trusted retailers or brands. These websites often advertise special offers or attractive deals on popular holiday items. However, these are nothing more than a ruse to trick unsuspecting shoppers into divulging their personal and financial information.

These scam websites are often spread through social media, email, and other messaging platforms. It’s crucial to exercise skepticism when encountering such links. Instead of clicking on them, it’s always safer to visit the brand’s official website directly and look for the deal there. 

Dig Deeper: 8 Ways to Know If Online Stores Are Safe and Legit

4. Ensure You Have Adequate Protection While Shopping

Using a robust and comprehensive security software suite while shopping can provide you with additional layers of protection against scams. For instance, web browser protection features can block malicious and suspicious links, reducing the risk of falling prey to malware or a financial scam.

Ensure your antivirus software is up to date and your firewall is enabled. At the same time, enable secure browsing options available in your web browser. These simple steps can go a long way in securing your online shopping experience.

5. Diversify and Secure Your Passwords

Using the same passwords across multiple platforms is akin to giving hackers a free pass. If they manage to hack into one account, they can potentially gain access to others that share the same password. To avoid this, consider using a password manager. These tools can generate complex and unique passwords for each of your accounts and store them securely, saving you the hassle of remembering them all.

By diversifying your passwords and securing them effectively, you can significantly reduce the risk of becoming a victim of a hack or a scam. The importance of this proactive approach cannot be overstated in today’s interconnected world, where our personal and financial information is often just a few clicks away from prying eyes and malicious intent.

Dig Deeper: Strong Password Ideas to Keep Your Information Safe

6. Utilize Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an invaluable tool that adds an extra layer of protection to your accounts. When 2FA is enabled, gaining access to your accounts isn’t as simple as just entering your username and password. Instead, you also need to input a unique, one-time-use code that is typically sent to your phone or email. This code acts as a second password, making your account significantly more secure.

If any of your accounts offer 2FA, it’s crucial to take advantage of this feature. While it might initially seem cumbersome, the added security is well worth the slight inconvenience.

7. Use a VPN When Shopping on Public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi networks, such as those found in coffee shops and other public locations, can be dangerous due to their lack of security. If you shop online through a public Wi-Fi network, you’re essentially broadcasting your private information to anyone who cares to look. To prevent this, consider using a virtual private network (VPN).

VPNs encrypt your internet traffic, securing it against any prying eyes. This encryption protects your passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information from being intercepted and misused. If you frequently shop online in public places, using a VPN is a must.

8. Opt for Credit Cards Over Debit Cards

In the U.S., the Fair Credit Billing Act protects against fraudulent charges on credit cards. Under this act, you can dispute any charges over $50 for goods and services that you never received or were billed incorrectly for. Moreover, many credit card companies offer policies that add to the protections provided by the Fair Credit Billing Act.

However, these protections don’t extend to debit cards. When you use a debit card, the money is immediately drawn from your bank account, making it more difficult to recover in case of fraud. So, for online shopping, it’s safer to use a credit card instead of a debit card.

9. Consider Getting a Virtual Credit Card

A virtual credit card can provide an extra layer of security for your online purchases. When you use one of these cards, it generates a temporary card number for each transaction, keeping your real card number safe. However, there are potential downsides to be aware of, such as difficulties with returns and refunds.

Before deciding to use a virtual credit card, understand its pros and cons. Research the policies of the issuing company so you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s the right choice for you.

10. Monitor Your Credit Reports Closely

Given the number of accounts most of us manage and the rampant incidents of data breaches, it’s crucial to monitor your credit reports for any signs of fraud. An unexpected change in your credit score could indicate that someone has taken out a loan or credit card in your name. If you notice any discrepancies, report them immediately to the credit bureau and to the lender who reported the fraudulent information.

In the U.S., you’re entitled to a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every year. Utilize this service and check your reports regularly. Remember, quickly identifying and reporting fraudulent activity is the key to mitigating its impact.

McAfee Pro Tip: Have you encountered a suspicious charge on your credit card and felt uncertain about the next steps? Get a credit monitoring service to monitor any unusual credit-related transactions that may be a potential sign of identity theft

Final Thoughts

As we approach Cyber Monday, it’s important to stay vigilant to protect yourself and your family from online scams. By taking simple precautions like verifying email addresses, resorting to 2FA, using a VPN while shopping on public Wi-Fi, and monitoring your credit reports, you can significantly reduce your chances of falling for an online shopping scam. Additionally, consider employing cybersecurity solutions like McAfee+, which offer robust protection against various online threats. Remember, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Happy and safe shopping!

#Cyber #Monday #Protect #Family #Online #Shopping #Scams #McAfee #Blog #Cyber #Monday #Tips #Online #Shopping #Scams #Protection

At the international Security Analyst Summit conference, our Kaspersky Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) experts presented some extremely exciting research. We will not repeat each of them in detail, just briefly outline the most interesting facts.

StripedFly spyware platform

Almost a detective story about a malware that previously was detected as a regular Monero cryptocurrency miner, but in fact was a cover for a complex modular threat capable of infecting computers running both Windows and Linux. Various StripedFly modules can steal information from a computer, take screenshots, record audio from a microphone, and intercept Wi-Fi passwords. However, it is useful not only for spying — it also got modules that can function as ransomware and for cryptocurrency mining.

What is interesting is that the threat can spread using the EthernalBlue exploit, although that vector was patched back in 2017. In addition, StripedFly can use stolen keys and passwords to infect Linux and Windows systems with an SSH server running. A detailed study with indicators of compromise can be found on the Securelist blog.

Operation Triangulation details

Another Security Analyst Summit report was dedicated to ongoing research into the Operation Triangulation, which among other things, targeted our employees. A detailed analysis of the threat allowed our experts to detect five vulnerabilities in the iOS system used by this threat actor. Four of them  (CVE-2023-32434, CVE-2023-32435, CVE-2023-38606 and CVE-2023-41990) were zero-day vulnerabilities. They affected not only the iPhone, but also iPod, iPad, macOS, Apple TV and Apple Watch. It also turned out that in addition to infecting devices via iMessage, attackers could attack the Safari browser. In this post you can read details on how our experts analyzed this threat.

New Lazarus campaign

The third report by GReAT experts was devoted to new attacks carried out by Lazarus APT. This group is now targeting software developers (some of which have been attacked multiple times) and is actively employ supply chain attacks.

Through vulnerabilities in legitimate software for encrypting web communications Lazarus infects the system and deploys a new SIGNBT implant, the main part of which operates in memory only. It serves to study the victim (get network settings, names of processes and users), as well as launch additional malicious payload. In particular, it downloads an improved version of the already known LPEClient backdoor, which also runs in memory and in turn launches malware capable of stealing credentials or other data. Technical information about the new tools of Lazarus APT group, as well as indicators of compromise, can also be found on the Securelist blog.

TetrisPhantom attack

In addition, experts provided details of the TetrisPhantom attack aimed at government agencies in the APAC region. TetrisPhantom relies on compromising of certain type of secure USB drives that provide hardware encryption and is commonly used by government organizations. While investigating this threat, experts identified an entire spying campaign that uses a range of malicious modules to execute commands, collect files and information from compromised computers and transfer them to other machines also using secure USB drives. Some details about this campaign can be found in our quarterly report on APT threats.

#SAS #Key #Research #Kaspersky #official #blog

Authored by Neil Tyagi

On 23 August 2023, NIST disclosed a critical RCE vulnerability CVE-2023-38831. It is related to an RCE vulnerability in WinRAR before version 6.23. The issue occurs because a ZIP archive may include a benign file (such as an ordinary .JPG file) and also a folder that has the same name as the harmless file, and the contents of the folder (which may include executable content) are processed during an attempt to access only the benign file.

Our intelligence shows that this vulnerability is being exploited as early as April 2023. Let’s look at a sample exploiting this vulnerability (Hash: bc15b0264244339c002f83e639c328367efb1d7de1b3b7c483a2e2558b115eaa)

  • The image below shows that the archive is named trading_system, which hints that it is used to target traders

  • We can also see that the threat actor can craft the archive so that folder and file names are the same.
  • This is interesting as Windows doesn’t allow files and folders to have the same name in the same path.
  • This shows that it was weaponized after creating a regular zip by changing the bytes to make the file and folder name the same.
  • Also, note there is a trailing space at the end of the file and folder name (in yellow).
  • When we look inside the folder, we see many files, but the most important file is highlighted, which is a bat file containing a malicious script.
  • The bat file also has the same name as the benign file outside the folder.

  • When we check the script, we see it launches cmd in the minimized state, then goes to the temp folder where WinRAR will extract the files, then tries to find the file, which is present inside the folder and executes it using wmic and then exits.
  • Checking we find that it is a CAB SFX file.
  • We extract it to check what is inside.
  • We found a PE file, some ActiveX control objects, and two text files.
  • AMD.exe is a visual basic compiled file whose main job is to extract the dll hidden in a blob of data inside pc.txt and execute the ActiveX controls.
  • Inside add.txt, we find the registry keys it will try to manipulate
  • The first control is responsible for registering a COM object in Windows. During registration, registry keys are imported from the “add.txt” file. As a result, a specific COM object with a unique CLSID is registered in the infected system. The default value of the InprocServer32 key is populated with the path to a malicious DLL named “Core.ocx”.
  • Wmic process executes

  • AMD.exe extracts the encrypted dll file inside pc.txt and writes it in the romaing\nvidia folder.

  • Here, we observe AMD.exe calls reg.exe on registry keys inside add.txt
  • Timeout is also called to slow down the activities of the infection chain.
  • AMD.exe Calls rundll32 on the clsid that is registered in the registry

  • We can see successful tcp connection to threat actors C2.( ip 37[.]120[.]158[.]229)

Global Heatmap where this vulnerability is being seen in the wild(based on McAfee telemetry data)

Infection chain

How does the vulnerability work?

  • Here, we will analyze the issue causing WinRAR to execute the script instead of opening the image.
  • We will compare how WinRAR behaves when we execute an image file from a weaponized zip vs. a normal zip. So we fire up ProcMon First.

  • The above image shows that the first logical bug is how WinRAR is extracting files in the temp folder before executing them. In the case of a regular zip, only the clean image file is extracted to the temp folder, whereas in the case of a weaponized zip, even the files present inside the folder are extracted to the temp folder along with the clean image file. This is due to the same file names we have given, which makes WinRAR extract those in temp.
  • Verifying the same in the temp folder

Normal Zip

Weaponized Zip

  • In Logs, when we dig deep, we can see Winrar searches for our filename with an *, which causes it to iterate over our bat file as it has the same name, which in turn gets executed.

  • To see what’s happening under the hood, we hook a debugger and launch WinRAR by manipulating the “image file Execution options” registry key.
  • When we execute the rar file, we see the debugger getting attached to the winrar process so that we can do just-in-time debugging.
  • We put a breakpoint on the ShellExecuteExW function to see what parameters are passed to it just after clicking the jpeg file.
  • When we double-click on the image file, we can see the debugger is opened, and after a few clicks, we hit our breakpoint.

Normal zip

  • In this case, the correct parameter is passed to the ShellExecuteExW function as the file exists at this exact path.

Weaponized zip

  • In this case, an incorrect parameter is passed to the ShellExecuteExW function as the parameter contains a trailing space, and such a file does not exist on the disk.
  • When we dig deep, we find that later, it calls PathUnquoteSpacesA API call, as per MSDN. It “Removes quotes from the beginning and end of a path.”
  • As quotes are removed from the end of the path, ShellExecuteExW executes “simple_image.jpg .cmd” instead of “simple_image.jpg.”


Sha256 Detection
bc15b0264244339c002f83e639c328367efb1d7de1b3b7c483a2e2558b115eaa Trojan:Archive/2023_38831.NEAA



  • .( ip 37[.]120[.]158[.]229)
  • REG keys



  • WinRAR users should immediately update to the latest version. WinRAR archiver, a powerful tool to process RAR and ZIP files (
  • Use a licensed and updated McAfee+ subscription to stay protected.
  • Stay informed about common cyber threats and tactics used by cybercriminals. This knowledge can help you recognize potential risks and avoid scams.
  • Be very cautious when dealing with attachments from unknown sources. Only run attachments that come from trusted sources.
  • Protect your accounts by using multi-factor authentication.
Introducing McAfee+

Identity theft protection and privacy for your digital life

#Exploring #Winrar #Vulnerability #CVE202338831 #McAfee #Blog

In large companies, as a rule the average employee isn’t often asked for an opinion on their career aspirations, areas of interest, or accomplishments outside their job description. It tends to happen once a year — for the performance review. However, many would like to share their thoughts with management much more often. So, when an invitation to take a self-evaluation lands in the inbox, they jump at the chance without hesitation. And this is what cybercriminals exploit in the latest spear-phishing campaign.

Phishing email with invitation

Seemingly from HR, an email arrives containing an elaborate description of the employee self-evaluation procedure, which “promotes candid dialogue between staff members and their managers/supervisors”. It goes on to say that “you can learn a lot about your strengths and shortcomings … to reflect on your successes, areas for development, and career objectives”. All in all, quite a convincing piece of corporate spiel.

Email to employees inviting them to undergo a self-evaluation

Convincing it may be, but all the same the email does contain a few identifiable red flags regarding phishing. For starters, take a look at the domain name in the sender’s address. That’s right, it doesn’t match the name of the company. Of course, it’s possible that your HR department might be using a contractor unknown to you — but why would “Family Eldercare” be providing such services? Even if you don’t know that this is a non-profit organization that helps families care for elderly relatives, the name should ring an alarm bell.

What’s more, the email says that the survey is “COMPULSORY for EVERYONE”, and must be completed “by End Of Day”. Even if we leave aside the crude and faulty capitalization, the focus on urgency is always a reason to stop and think — and check with the real HR department whether they sent it.

Fake self-evaluation form

Those who miss the flags and click through to the form are faced with a set of questions that may actually have something to do with assessing their performance. But the crux of the phishing operation lies in the last three of those questions — which ask the victim to provide their email address, and enter their password for authentication and then re-enter it for confirmation.

Last three questions of the fake questionnaire

This is actually a smart move on the phishers’ part. Typically, phishing of this type leads straight from the email to a form for entering corporate credentials on a third-party site, which puts many on their guard straight away. Here, however, the request for a password and email address (which commonly doubles up as a username) is disguised as part of the form — and at the very end. By this stage the victim’s vigilance is well and truly lulled.

Also note how the word “password” is written: two letters are replaced with asterisks. This is to bypass automatic filters set to search for “password” as a keyword.

How to stay safe

To stop company employees falling for phishing, keep them informed of all the latest tricks (for example, by forwarding our posts about phishing ploys). If you prefer a more systematic approach, carry out regular trainings and checks, for example with our Kaspersky Automated Security Awareness Platform.

Ideally, employees should never even see most phishing thanks to technical means: install security solutions with anti-phishing technology both at the corporate mail gateway level and on all work devices used for internet access.

#phishing #selfevaluation #questionnaire #Kaspersky #official #blog

Your teacher was right. Spelling counts, particularly to scammers.

Enter the world of typosquatting scams. Also known as URL hijacking, typosquatting scams target internet users who incorrectly type a website address into their web browser.

Scammers have long used typosquatting techniques to capture traffic from those butterfingers moments we all have when typing on our keyboards. And the butterthumbs moments on our phones.

For example, say you type “websiteaddresss dot-com” instead of “websiteaddress dot-com.” More than just a mistake, a mistyped address might land you on a malicious site designed to steal personal information, make money, or spread malware.

The scam sites you might land on vary. Some serve up a screenload of spammy ads. Others host malicious download links, and yet more lead to stores full of cheap, knockoff goods. In other cases, scammers take it up a notch. We’ve seen typosquatting sites evolve into clever copycats of legitimate sites. Some look like real banking and e-commerce sites that they steal traffic from, complete with stolen logos and familiar login screens. With this, scammers hope to trick you into entering your passwords and other sensitive information.

Companies are well aware of this practice. Many purchase URLs with those common misspellings and redirect them to their proper sites. Further, many brands put up anti-fraud pages on their sites that list the legitimate addresses they use to contact customers. Here at McAfee, we have an anti-fraud center of our own.

The fact remains, people make mistakes. And that can lead to risky scam sites. However, you can still avoid typosquatting attacks quite easily.

The big business of typosquatting

For starters, it helps to know that typosquatting is often big business. In many cases, larger cybercrime organizations set up entire flights of malicious sites that can number into the dozens to the hundreds.

Let’s check out a few examples and see just how sophisticated typosquatting scams can be:

“” scams

In 2018, researchers found a host of addresses that were registered in the names of well-known sites, but ending in  “.cm”, instead of “.com”. These copycat addresses included financial websites, such as “Chase dot-cm” and “Citicards dot-cm,” as well as social and streaming sites.

Scammers used the .cm sites to advertise promotions and surveys used to collect users’ personal information. What’s more, more than 1,500 of them were registered to the same email address, indicating that someone was trying to turn typosquatting into a serious business.

“” scams

Similarly, 2016 saw the advent of malicious dot-om sites, that mimicked big names like “linkedin dot-om” and “walgreens dot-om.” Even the interesting typo found in “youtubec dot-om” cropped up. Of note, single entities registered these sites in batches. Researchers found that individuals or companies registered anywhere from 18 to 96 of them. Again, signs of serious business.

Big brand and voice assistant typosquatting scams

Recently, security researchers further found an increase in the number of typosquatting sites. An increase of 10% from 2021 to 2022. These sites mimic popular app stores, Microsoft addresses, services like TikTok, Snapchat, PayPal, and on and on.

Further, scammers have gotten wise to the increased use of personal assistants to look up web addresses on phones and in homes. Typosquatting now includes soundalike names in addition to lookalike names. With that, they can capitalize when an assistant doesn’t quite hear a command properly.

How to protect yourself from typosquatting

No doubt, slip-ups happen when browsing. Yet you can minimize how often with a few steps—and give yourself an extra line of defense if a mistake still slips through.

  • Whether you type in a web address to the address field, or a search engine, be careful that you spell the address correctly before you hit “return”.
  • If you are going to a website where you might share private information, look for the green lock symbol in the upper left-hand corner of the address bar. This indicates that the site uses encryption to secure the data that you share.
  • Be suspicious of websites with low-quality graphics or misspellings. These are telltale signs of fake websites.
  • Consider bookmarking sites you visit regularly to make sure you get to the right site, each time.
  • Don’t click on links in emails, text messages, and popup messages unless you know and trust the sender.
  • Consider using a safe browsing tool such as McAfee Web Protection, which can help you avoid dangerous links, bad downloads, malicious websites, and more.​
  • Always use comprehensive online protection software like ours on your computers and devices to protect you from malware and other online threats.
Introducing McAfee+

Identity theft protection and privacy for your digital life

#Typosquatting #Scams #Work #McAfee #Blog

QR codes are all around us. They offer a quick way to take part in surveys, download useful stuff, and visit websites of interest. After all, pointing your phone at a picture is far easier than typing in an annoyingly long URL.

But their very convenience hides a significant drawback. With regular links, it’s possible to spot a trap with the naked eye. The red flags are well-known: typos or extra characters in the site address, a disguised redirect, strange domain zones, and so on. But as for QR codes, where that jumble of black squares might take you is anyone’s guess.

With a compelling example, in this post we explain how those harmless-looking squares can pose a threat, and how not to fall victim to scammers. The example in question is the story of a woman who lost US$20,000 by scanning a QR code when buying bubble tea.

20,000-dollar bubble tea

Many have encountered coffee-shop promos when visitors are invited to take a short survey in exchange for a free drink or a discount on a purchase. This often requires you to scan a QR code at the counter — a familiar, almost routine action. What could possibly go wrong?

That’s what a 60-year-old Singaporean must have thought, too. To get a free cup of bubble tea, she scanned the QR code sticker on the glass of the coffee shop door. As it turned out later, the sticker had been pasted on by cybercriminals. The scam code contained a link to download a third-party Android app in order, she believed, to take a survey. However, the app was malicious.

Once installed, the program requested access to the camera and microphone, and to enable Android Accessibility services. This built-in Android service allows criminals to view and control the victim’s screen, as well as to disable facial and fingerprint recognition — this way attackers can force the victim to type their banking app password manually, if needed. The scammers had only to wait for her to log in, intercept the credentials, and later use them to transfer all the money to their own accounts.

How not to fall victim

Since it’s impractical (and not really necessary) to avoid scanning QR codes altogether, we recommend the following:

  • Check the addresses of sites that are linked inside QR codes carefully, and look for typical red flags.
  • Make sure that the expected and actual content match up. For example, if the code was supposed to lead to a survey, logically there should be some kind of form with answer options. If not, close the site immediately. But even if the page arouses no suspicion, you should still be careful — it may be a high-quality fake (see the first point, and read our post about how to spot a bogus site).
  • Don’t download apps via QR codes. As a rule, bona fide apps can always be found on Google Play, the App Store, or any other official platform. Apps from third-party sources shouldn’t be installed in any case.
  • Protect your devices with a reliable security solution. A built-in QR scanner lets you check the link buried in the maze of squares. Also, our solution blocks attempts to visit malicious sites and protects you from the profusion of other threats out there in cyberspace.

#codes #dangerous #Kaspersky #official #blog

There are lots of websites with tempting offers of quick and easy money working from home. But in reality, they’re likely to be from scammers looking to get gullible users to work for them for free and advertise their “business.” This post demonstrates the operation principle of several such schemes and gives tips on how to avoid falling victim to them.

Many scams in one

Who wouldn’t want to earn money for doing regular online stuff: taking surveys, watching videos, playing games and other simple tasks? That’s how scammers lure victims to one of the sites.

Home page of a scam website offering part-time work doing regular online activities

The home page of the “platform” is overflowing with offers of easy-earning jobs. Scammers promise new recruits a whopping US$200 a day. Plus a US$25 signing-up bonus!

Of course, there are numerous reviews from grateful “users” who have already become rich. But if you bother to read them, you’ll spot a lot of grammatical mistakes.

Reviews from “users” who supposedly struck gold

To earn money on the “platform”, you are asked to complete various tasks, such as testing apps, playing games, sharing a link to the site with friends, and the like.

Tasks you get paid for

In fact, all these “tasks” are just links to other scam resources. By visiting them, users create traffic to cybercriminals’ sites. This improves their position in search results. And also, cybercriminals may have their own footfall KPIs (key performance indicators).

When the victim tries to get their “money” (the home page promises that this can be done through popular services like Cash App, Venmo, PayPal and others), they discover that they must first earn at least US$200.

Message saying you need to earn US$200 to withdraw funds

Sure, you won’t see any payout even if you do “earn” 200 bucks.

Nor can it be ruled out that the scammers’ domain won’t simply be blocked before user even try — such sites have very short lifespan. After getting blocked, the scammers will get another domain and launch the whole scheme again with new victims.

The scam itself is quite international. Besides English, the cybercriminals’ website is available in nine other languages. Although these versions look less professional.

Share it with the whole world

Now let’s talk about a similar site with a more primitive design, but with a different mechanism for making money from naive users.

The victims are offered two ways to earn. The first is to share the link and invite “referrals” to the website: you get US$1 for every 100 people. What’s more, the site supposedly lets you withdraw funds after accumulating just US$20. To earn this amount through inviting referrals, you need to attract 1500 users to the site (you get US$5 for signing-up).

Home page of a site that pays you to share its link

Sounds hard, but things aren’t all that bad, you have a chance to earn US$50 right away. But for this you’ll have to play the scammers’ game — by endlessly refreshing the page so that the two images match. They won’t of course.

Scammers’ game

When the victim goes to the site, they are immediately asked for permission to display browser notifications. Through these, the cybercriminals distribute ads for various other scams or relatively legit adult sites. That’s the main objective: to lure as many victims as possible who will give this permission.

And the image-matching game helps the scammers boost traffic to their own site and improve its search visibility.

How to avoid falling victim?

To avoid falling for online job scams:

  • Don’t believe promises of easy money.
  • Don’t enter payment information on dubious websites.
  • Read our post on how to spot scammers.
  • Use a robust security solution that will warn you before visiting suspicious sites and keep your money and data out of cybercriminals’ hands.

#Scam #websites #offering #jobs #Kaspersky #official #blog