It seems ironic that Halloween marks the final day of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). The ghoulish holiday of spooks dredges up visits by shady hacker carnies. Except there’s no need to ask, “Trick or Treat?” With cybercriminals, it’s always a trick. And if you fall for it, it will cost you. Let’s look at some tricks from recent fraudsters you should be afraid of – very afraid.
Don’t Get Pinned
This juicy hack comes to us from Pieter Gunst, @DigitalLawyer. In a nutshell, a hacker pretends to be a bank employee alerting you to fraudulent account charges. The fraudster uses your member number and social engineering to reset your bank account password, then logs in as you. He reads off recent transactions asking if they are valid. This makes the call seem more legitimate. Eventually, the hacker asks for your bank pin code. This was the final straw that ended this particular fraud attempt. According to Pieter, this was “the most credible phishing attempt” he’d experienced to date. Here are the details.
Don’t Cash That Check
If you get a check in the mail you are not expecting, DON’T CASH IT. If you are practicing national cybersecurity awareness, you’ll know it’s likely a scam that will end up costing you dearly. By signing a check, you are signing a legally binding contract. So, you better know what that check is for before you sign your life away. You may be agreeing to a high-interest loan or enrolling in an expensive membership program. It’s nearly impossible to cancel these memberships and your monthly fee could be much more than the amount of that check.
Don’t Greet the Holidays
Do you love receiving holiday cards? Christmas is nearly upon us, so be prepared to sniff and snuff out malicious cyber greetings. Don’t open electronic greeting cards from people or companies you don’t know. Just like phishing emails, these e-cards contain malware laden links waiting to inject your computer with surprise gifts you really don’t want. This is table stakes for anyone who claims to know something about national cybersecurity awareness.
Don’t Read Fake News
Yep, fake news is a real thing. And, it’s dangerous. You could easily become a victim of an online scam by consuming what you think is a real news site, but which is actually a fake. Fake news sites serve up malicious links. Fake news sites sell fake products. And, fake shopping sites are dreaded wormholes. Don’t read fake news and don’t by fake products. Focus on national cybersecurity awareness.
Don’t Answer the Phone
You know from horror movies you should never answer the phone – especially if you are home alone at night. What about calls from numbers you don’t recognize with no caller ID? Should you answer those? No. There’s no treat that comes from an unknown number. More than likely, it’s a scammer trying to get you to divulge personal information or pay an erroneous bill. NEVER SAY THE WORD “YES” WHEN TALKING TO AN UNKNOWN CALLER. Be a national cybersecurity awareness champion and just say no. The fraudster is trying to record your voice saying “yes” so he can prove you agreed to buy something (which you did not). If the caller says, “Can you hear me?” HANG UP.
Do Play the 2019 NCSAM Trivia Game!
Enough about things you shouldn’t do. Let’s talk about actions you should take, in the wake of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The NCSAM website has a lot of information we hope you put to good use this month. It’s always important to be vigilant when it comes to national cybersecurity awareness. And, if you haven’t played the NCSAM Trivia game, you’re missing out! It’s easy, fun and informative. For example, do you know how many attempted cyberattacks are reported to the Pentagon every day? Download the 2019 Trivia Game and instructions to find out.
Do Implement Proactive Cybersecurity Controls
For large enterprises, the best defense is an automated offense. Luckily Gurucul offers Behavior Based Security Analytics to predict, detect and stop insider threats, account compromise, data exfiltration, privileged access abuse, fraud and more. Contact us for details. We want to put your mind at ease when it comes to protecting your data from malicious insiders and cyber criminals.