Scammers are getting sneaky.
As I have said before, as technology evolves, so do the techniques used by those wishing to exploit it.
Experts at Kaspersky, the computer anti-virus software company, believe the new trend among hackers is moving to targeting mobile devices and smart appliances. Why is this, you ask?
Well, because the security on these devices isn’t as up to speed as on home computers.
Therefore, it is easier for hackers to get personal information from these devices than from the other electronic devices that have been around longer.
Unfortunately, this is kind of the way technology works.
The newer something is, the less familiar it is and therefore the easier it is to exploit.
Therefore, the second new technology becomes available, someone is already hard at work devising a way to use that technology to steal your information.
This isn’t something new that has just been born out of the digital age either.
Since printed money existed, counterfeit money has existed as well.
Still to this day, whenever the Canadian Mint releases a new design for a bank note, cases of counterfeit bills go up astronomically within the first year the bills are used.
What is most disturbing about this revelation is that people don’t know that it is happening.
Security attacks, scams and phishing operations aren’t something that is overly common yet and thus people aren’t overly familiar with it yet.
But according to Kaspersky, it is happening and it is becoming more and more common.
According to Kaspersky, Android phones are more at risk than iPhones, but iPhones aren’t immune to attacks or at least attempted ones.
I myself received a scam email to my iPhone 4S recently. It looked pretty convincing too, but was still not without any telling sign of unauthenticity.
The email I received claimed to be from Canada Revenue Agency and stated that my tax refund for $615.47 could be claimed if I would only enter my social insurance number into the below field.
It even had the official Government of Canada logo and Canada Revenue Agency letterhead.
However, I received it on a Sunday at 6:17 a.m., when no Canada Revenue Agency offices are open. I also have yet to submit my income tax claims for 2013 as it is only January and I don’t even have all the forms necessary to do so yet. Finally, the email asked for my SIN, which Canada Revenue Agency already has and would have been on my tax claim forms had I sent them in.
So, as always, vigilance is the watchword.
When you use mobile phones for banking or the transferring of other sensitive information, only do so from secure networks.
Do not save login information or keep web pages open and never EVER exchange any personal information via email before confirming who the information is being sent to first.
If you suspect you are being targeted by a scam, discontinue contact with the suspicious party immediately and notify police as soon as possible.