Hass and Associates
Online scams to watch out for this year:
Cyber-blackmail and the Royal baby
This is one birth of a baby we are not suppose to feel happy about, the birth of the
Royal baby. This will deliver viruses around the world and will target you mobiles
Innocence isn’t an excuse besides staying safe online is easy as 1 2 3. Start by being
familiar of the online threats expected to be born this year.
Madware shorter term for mobile ware is one of the cyber threats you should be
aware of. This will bombards handsets with intrusive adverts which will also target
your tablets and PCs.
Ransonware is another scam yet to scare you online. This scam attempts to scare
users into paying a ‘fine’ for illegal online activities – locking up PCs and informing
their owners they owe money to law enforcement agencies.
The birth of the Royal baby will bring a huge opportunity for online crooks to spread
viruses and spyware through rogue links disguised as news and pictures that relate to
the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s new arrival.
Peter Wood, security expert for Know The Net, said: “With Prince William
and Kate Middleton expecting their first child in July, scammers are certain to
try and profit from the public interest. “How many people would be tempted
to click on an email promising ‘First pictures of the new royal baby’? Don’t
open any emails if you don’t recognize the source. It’s important to keep in
mind that if you’re in any doubt about the nature of an email, don’t click on
any links or attachments, and don’t respond. If your email system allows it,
simply mark it as spam, junk or a scam, otherwise delete it.”
Ransomware has been predicted by Cyber security experts at Symantec,
makers of the Norton internet protection software range.
They seem to notice that people don’t buy to their old tricks so rather than
conning people into handing over their personal and financial details using
disguised links and fake webpages, it takes a whole new approach to internet
Ransomware will lock a user’s computer, preventing access and displaying
fake logos and images to try and pretend that the lockdown has been carried
out by a law enforcement agency.
And of course they wont do that without purpose, they will then asks for money
in return for unlocking the computer, paid via online sites, with those affected
afraid to challenge it fearing they’ve done something wrong.
do not buy if you were threatened saying you were involve in some illegal
activity when you for sure know the truth. This scam is usually appear claiming
the user has been involved in “illegal activity”, before asking for the payment of a
fine and setting a deadline for when it should be paid up.
A Growing Menace, Symantec’s Gavin O’Gorman and Geoff McDonald state:
“This malware is highly profitable, with as many as 2.9% of compromised users
“An investigation into one of the smaller players in this scam identified 68,000
compromised computers in just one month, which could have resulted in victims
being defrauded of up to $400,000.”
The pair supposes the ransomware industry could be worth a minimum of
$5million per year from victims and have identified at least 16 different separate
variants so far.
The focus now is in Britain, Europe and America where the gangs are now
moving from other types of web fraud into this newly profitable area with the
majority of attacks.
However, Mr McDonald and Mr O’Gorman foresee the growing hazard could
cause in-fighting between cyber criminal gangs as it begins to hit the
profitability of existing forms of malware.
“Ransomware is a very obvious malware, it is not subtle, or discreet. The
presence of ransomware on a computer will usually prompt the computer
owner to clean the machine thoroughly, removing any malware from it., the
“As the ransomware may have been installed by a separate piece of malware,
that other malware will also be removed, cutting into the malware operator’s
One more Symantec expert, Kevin Haley, considers 2013 will be the year
when cyber terrorism begins to bare its teeth.
He says on the company’s blog: “We will see the cyber equivalent of saber
rattling, where nation states, organisations, and even groups of individuals use
cyber attacks to show their strength and ‘send a message’.”
The madware can send pop-up alerts, change browser settings and gather
personal information with the number of apps featuring it increasing by 210%
in the last nine months.
Mr Haley added: “Symantec anticipates an increase in malware attacks that
steal payment credentials in social networks or trick users into providing
payment details, and other personal and potentially valuable information, to
fake social networks. “This may include fake gift notifications and email
messages requesting home addresses and other personal information. While
providing non-financial information might seem innocuous, cybercriminals
sell and trade this information with one another to combine with information
they already have about you, helping them create a profile of you they can use
to gain access to your other accounts.” Peter Wood, security expert for Know
The Net, believes owners let down their guard, treating a tablet more like a
mobile than the home computer they’d usually keep secure. And also expect
the surge in popularity of tablet computer ownership will prove a boost for
online criminals. He said: “Remember to treat your tablet in the same way you
do a laptop or desktop and only open links from people you know. “It is
important to check that apps are genuine before installing them.
“Another simple step to avoid being defrauded is to ensure you use a PIN to
protect your device and set up strong passwords to secure your social networks
and email applications.”