Theft of entertainment website passwords, fake WhatsApp scams, and more sophisticated ransomware attacks are among the top cyber-threats of 2020. Security experts foresee that, in addition to improving already established tactics, criminals will exploit relatively recent technologies, like the case of deepfakes, to apply scams online. Thinking about it, the TechTudo has separated six scams that you should be aware of in 2020, and learn below how you can protect yourself from each of them.
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List brings six blows to watch out for in 2020 Photo: Divulgao
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1. Theft of entertainment website passwords
After the Disney + breach, scam alerts reach other streaming services Photo: Carolina Ochsendorf / TechTudo
Streaming services keep growing. While established brands such as Netflix and Spotify solidified further in 2019, other large companies took the opportunity to launch new services on the market. The case of Apple, with Apple TV +, and Walt Disney, responsible for Disney Plus.
The sale of accounts on streaming platforms is already a very common practice on the dark web and, with the growth of the offer and the increase in the popularity of these services, it should become even more recurrent in 2020. If you notice any unusual activity in your account history , change the password immediately and log out of all devices.
2. Fake WhatsApp scam
Focused on WhatsApp, fake job scam almost tripled in 2019 Photo: Tainah Tavares / TechTudo
The scam that tries to attract victims with false job openings has increased every year, and in 2020 it will be no different. This year alone, more than 2.3 million occurrences have been recorded, representing a jump of 174% compared to 2018. The tendency for criminals to continue to take advantage of the high unemployment rates in the country to apply financial fraud through false messages sent via WhatsApp.
To protect yourself from this type of scam, the first tip is to always be wary of messages with tempting job offers that arrive via messengers and social networks. Be especially suspicious of vacancies with promises of a good salary and many benefits without requiring experience. It is also important to examine the links carefully and, nevertheless, never to click on them. Instead, look for the alleged vacancy on the company's official website to check its authenticity.
3. Bitcoin-related scams
Sextorso scams, in which the victim must pay a ransom for not having allegedly intimate images posted on the Internet, are one of the main tactics that criminals use to purchase bitcoins. According to cybersecurity company Kaspersky, scammers should invest in more elaborate traps in 2020.
Decentralized Bitcoin Carter Attracts Criminals Photo: Divulgao / FISL
An example is the phishing scams, which usually redirect the user to pages with fake ads capable of generating profits with each view. In the next year, the expectation is that they will start to send the victim to websites for buying, selling and exchanging cryptocurrencies.
While it is not possible to avoid receiving emails of sexual extortion or phishing, there are actions that can help you not fall into these criminal scams. The most important of them never click on links of suspicious origin or download attachments sent by unknown senders. In the case of scams that use websites to mine bitcoin, there are extensions for browsers that promise to block any attempt to hijack your system for mining.
5. Deepfake scams
Deepfake technology, which uses machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to create fake videos, was singled out by McAfee as one of the biggest digital security threats in 2020. According to Steve Grobman, the company's chief technology officer, recent AI advances have made It is possible to produce very convincing clips without the need for large equipment or technical knowledge. There are even sites where you can upload a video or audio and, in just a few minutes, receive material created from non-truthful information.
Deepfakes will be the biggest security threat for 2020, McAfee study predicts Photo: Disclosure / Deep Trace
The popularization of technical image manipulation access concerns specialists, governments and private companies. One of the biggest fears is that technology will be used as a weapon to promote misinformation during electoral periods. Thinking of lessening the impact of deepfakes in the 2020 presidential election, the United States Congress went into action against the fake videos.
On the part of the private sector, the main concern is that the spread of technology leads to an increase in voice phishing scams, in which criminals impersonate the company's CEO and convince employees to transfer money or reveal confidential information. In 2019, a company in the electric power sector was a victim of this type of fraud and had a loss of 220 thousand.
Cybersecurity experts believe that ransomware attacks, in which criminals hijack victim files and charge a bitcoin amount to decrypt them, will be more targeted in 2020. According to data released in a magazine article Forbes, there were more than 100 such attacks on the public sector this year, compared to 51 occurrences recorded in 2018. Next year, the trend is for criminals to target corporate networks.
Computer infected with ransomware Photo: Joo Balbi / TechTudo
By 2020, we expect selective penetration of corporate networks to continue to grow and, ultimately, to give rise to two-step extortion attacks. In the first, cybercriminals will launch a paralyzing ransomware attack, extorting the victims to recover their files. In the second, they will counterattack, but this time threatening to reveal the confidential data stolen before the attack, explains John Fokker, McAfee's chief cyber investigator.
Keeping the operating system always up to date, using an antivirus capable of recognizing and blocking the most diverse types of malware and not clicking on suspicious links sent from phishing campaigns are among the tips that help prevent ransomware attacks.
6. Scams involving facial recognition
Criminals will start generating counterfeits to circumvent facial recognition technology, points McAfee Photo: Divulgao / Netvue
Technology based on facial recognition is present in many aspects of everyday life: from unlocking smartphones, verifying passport identification at airports and even as a police security mechanism to identify criminals on the street. The bad news is that, while simplifying everyday life, technology must be incorporated into scams in 2020.
"As technologies are adopted over the next few years, a very viable risk vector will emerge, and we anticipate that adversaries will begin to generate counterfeits to avoid facial recognition," explains Steve Povolny, head of McAfee Advanced Threat Research. According to him, it will be essential that companies understand the security risks posed by facial recognition and other biometric systems and invest in education about risks and in strengthening critical systems.
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