Tech support scams remain one of the top phishing threats, according to a report from cybersecurity company NortonLifeLock’s.
The company’s global research team, Norton Labs, recently released its third quarterly Consumer Cyber ââSafety Pulse report, detailing key insights and takeaways on consumer cybersecurity from July to September 2021.
According to the report, “Tech support scams, which often come in the form of a pop-up alert convincingly disguised using the names and branding of big tech companies, have become the number one phishing threat for tech companies. consumers “
“Tech support scams are expected to proliferate over the coming holiday season, along with shopping and charity phishing attacks,” the report adds.
Norton has blocked more than 12.3 million technical support URLs, which topped the list of phishing threats for 13 straight weeks between July and September.
“The effectiveness of this type of scam has intensified during the pandemic due to the increased dependence of consumers on their devices to manage hybrid work schedules and family activities,” he said. declared.
In addition, it successfully blocked 17,214,929 cybersecurity threats in India alone in the last quarter, an average of 187,118 blocks per day. Globally, the quarter’s numbers reached nearly 860 million, including 41 million file-based malware, 309,666 mobile malware files, nearly 15 million phishing attempts, and 52,213 ransomware detections. .
âTech support scams are effective because they exploit consumers’ fear, uncertainty and doubt to trick recipients into believing they face a serious cybersecurity threat,â said Darren Shou, chief technology officer, NortonLifeLock.
âAwareness is the best defense against these targeted attacks. Never call a number listed in a tech support pop-up, and instead contact the company directly through their official website to validate the situation and next steps, âShou added.
The report also highlighted other trends in consumer cybersecurity.
According to the report, in-game items are highly sought after by cybercriminals and can be traded in real world markets. Norton Labs has detected a new phishing campaign specifically designed to obtain player login credentials and two-factor authentication information for the purpose of stealing and selling high-value virtual items.
Separately, the researchers identified a punycode phishing campaign targeting bank customers with a near-carbon copy of the real bank homepage to trick them into entering their credentials.
Stolen gift cards have also been targeted.
âEspecially as the holidays approach, consumers should be aware that gift cards are a prime target for attackers because they typically have lower security than credit cards and are not tied to a person’s name. specific, âadds the report.
Attackers also use websites meant to check a gift card balance to discover valid card number and PIN combinations, giving them full access to funds.