Over 17.2 Million Cybersafety Threats Blocked in India, Report Says

CC0 / / Cyber security
Cyber security - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.10.2021
Tech support scams, disguised as a pop-up alert using the names and branding of major tech companies, have become the top phishing threat to consumers, revealed the "Consumer Cyber Safety Pulse Report". Ahead of the festival season across India, tech support scams, along with shopping and charity-related phishing attacks, are expected to multiply.
More than 17.2 Million cybersafety threats were successfully blocked in India over the past quarter (July to September 2021), averaging 187,118 blocks per day, a report by the cybersecurity company NortonLifeLock revealed on Tuesday.
The "Consumer Cyber Safety Pulse Report" by Norton Labs' researchers also revealed that it blocked more than 12.3 million tech support URLs, which topped the list of phishing threats between July and September 2021.

Tech support scams are effective because they prey on consumers' fear, uncertainty, and doubt to trick recipients into believing they face a dire cybersecurity threat", Darren Shou, head of technology, at NortonLifeLock, said in a statement.

The report states that the effectiveness of this type of scam has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic due to an increased reliance by consumers on their devices to manage hybrid work schedules and family activities.
Shou shared that awareness is the best defence to prevent oneself from such targeted cyberattacks.

"Awareness is the best defence against these targeted attacks. Never call a number listed on a tech support pop-up, and instead reach out to the company directly through their official website to validate the situation and next steps", Shou added.

Norton Labs' researchers also identified a punycode phishing attack (which uses unicode characters in domains to imitate popular brands) targeting bank customers with a near carbon copy of the real banking homepage to trick them into entering their credentials.
Moreover, as the holiday and festive season near, since a lot of people across India are on an online shopping spree, the report suggests that the biggest prime target for attackers is gift cards.
That's because gift cards typically have lower security than credit cards and aren't tied to a specific person's name, the statement added.
"Further, many gift cards are made by the same company with a 19-digit number and 4-digit PIN. Attackers use websites intended to check a gift card's balance to uncover valid card number and pin combinations, giving them full access to the funds", the report stated.
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