Because of the lockdown and stay-at-home protocols implemented by authorities worldwide due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, people are finding ways to keep themselves busy and entertained. The rise of the pandemic also saw a spike in Netflix usage, and as the streaming service becomes more popular, it’s also become a hub for scammers to attack unsuspecting people.
According to a study released by Check Point, a cyber-security firm, there has been a significant surge in the number of cyber-attacks done by websites posing as the popular streaming service. While this isn’t the first time that scammers had used the streaming giant’s name to deceive people, it’s become even more recurring during this pandemic and stay-at-home season.
In the last few weeks, Check Point says that Netflix-related phishing attacks had doubled and that the websites that pose as Netflix was registered only recently. A popular method used by these poser sites is to offer payment options so that they would be able to acquire user and payment information from their victims.
Omer Dembinsky of Check Point even went on to say, “Clearly, hackers are shifting their resources away from targeting businesses towards activities that can reach us directly into our homes.”
One of the most recent of these phishing attacks would have to be the news that Netflix is giving away free premium access. To be clear, Netflix isn’t giving free premium passes (yet) during this lockdown season, but with many other streaming sites doing so, such news would seem believable to a lot of people.
These phishing attacks came in the form of text messages that began circulating in the last few weeks. Some of these messages even claim that the free premium passes are only limited and would end quickly, prompting many unsuspecting victims to not think twice about their own security.
Zoom is also another app that has become the apple of scammers’ eyes. As countless of people around the world follow social distancing and lockdown mandates, Zoom had become a popular sensation overnight. The app had experienced a massive surge from 10 million users to 200 million in a span of weeks. It’s also become a haven for hackers due to the number of security vulnerabilities that were found in the platform.
The study conducted by Check Point also reveals that the number of Zoom-related domains had also experienced a spike. This means that cybercriminals are doubling up their efforts attacking both non-working and remotely working people during the pandemic.
Furthermore, in the last two weeks, Check Point reveals that around 30,103 new coronavirus-related websites have surfaced, and of those, roughly 3,000 are under investigation and were found to be malicious.
Hackers are clearly taking advantage of the chaos brought by the coronavirus pandemic and the abrupt changes that have happened in society today.
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