It’s Christmas time, which means we are at the peak of online shopping activity. Unfortunately, the festive period presents internet fraudsters with a host of new opportunities to exploit our online security with Christmas viruses. Only last year we saw internet hacking group ‘Lizard Squad’ take down PSN and Xbox Live for an entire week over the Christmas period.
Whether you’re checking work emails or simply taking advantage of the online Boxing Day sales, this blog will help you be more vigilant against online security breaches during the festive period.
The Popcorn Time Virus
Thinking of putting on ‘Home Alone 2’ for the family on Christmas day? The Popcorn Time Virus has capitalised upon the popularity of the ‘Popcorn Time’ app (a popular Netflix alternative). The virus mimics the ‘Popcorn Time’ app download page. If a user follows the download link their computer becomes infected, the virus encrypts all the files on their hard drive making it impossible to access their data. In an interesting twist, the hackers behind the virus offer the infected user a free decryption key if they send the infected download link to two other users. Our advice is to be extra vigilant when clicking links online. Ensure the company name appears in the URL and is not followed by any other words or symbols.
Parcel Delivery Scam
A group of hackers have taken advantage of postal services working through the hectic Christmas period. A prominent scam this year consists of an email from ‘FedX’ claiming their package is undeliverable. The email threatens the user with a holding fee if they don’t click a link within the email. This link downloads a ransomware virus that locks your computer. With such a high volume of online shopping taking place during the Christmas period, a scam-watch site has received over 4,300 complaints regarding this scam. We recommend you always contact the postal company directly if you are suspicious of any emails. It is important to use an email client that incorporates an effective junk email filter. We also strongly recommend you regularly back up your computers files on a separate hard drive or in the cloud a precaution.
Thousands of Amazon customers have had their bank details targeted in the run up to Christmas this year. An email imitating Amazon has been sent to shoppers all over the world. The email claims there has been a problem processing their order and includes a link to a webpage asking the user to re-enter their bank details. Amazon has released a statement regarding this Christmas scam. They have reminded users that they will never ask for their N.I. number, Bank details or password via email. We always recommend you double check the senders email addresses for the company’s domain before clicking any links within an email.
At Southbank-IT we provide strategic advice, guidance and solutions to ensure your devices are less susceptible to external threats such as the Christmas viruses listed above. We implement security enhancement tools to help protect your business from DDOS attacks, Viruses, Malware, Ransomware, Cyber-attacks, SPAM, phishing emails and much more.
Make sure the only disappointing surprise you receive this Christmas is a pair of socks. If you want to find out more you can Download our Brochure