In PCR's last security roundup of 2014, we look at the worst Facebook scams of the year, and North Korea suffers widespread internet outage.
The seven worst Facebook scams, according to Bitdefender, include the following:
1.Guess who viewed your profile (February 2014)
The most popular Facebook scam promises users the ability to see who viewed their profile. Cyber-crooks typically claim the social network has released an “official” app that reveals stalkers, ex-lovers, peekers and profile viewers.
2.Naked videos of Facebook friends (March 2014)
This spring debuted with a malicious campaign that tricked more than 1,000 people into installing a Trojan that promised naked videos of their friends.
3. Scams in Facebook ads (March 2014)
Scammers tout cheap pharmaceuticals, designer replicas, electronics, cars and other products on Facebook’s ad platform.
4. Sad video of woman dying during a fight (June 2014)
Security expert Graham Cluley warned of a gruesome video flooding Facebook to spread money-making surveys. The fake video of a woman being beaten to death was used as bait to arouse users’ interest in morbid images.
5. Funny videos drop Trojans (July 2014)
Summer came with a new malicious campaign that started with an apparent funny video of a Facebook friend. After clicking on the video, users were brought to a malicious YouTube page that redirected to Flash Player.exe. The Trojan wasn’t fun at all, as it was able to grab huge amounts of data from victims’ browsers.
6. ‘Girl killed by husband’ scam (August 2014)
A new viral video lured thousands of Facebook users with a fake tape of a girl killed by her husband because she kissed another man. The bait was purported footage of an Asian woman about to get her head chopped off. Psychologists warn horrid videos will continue to circulate on Facebook, particularly targeting teenagers, who may have less empathy for victims of violence.
7. Emma Watson Trojan (October 2014)
The alleged 'sexy videos' of the British actress dropped Trojans rather than actual pictures. The scam came right after a nude photo leak targeting Watson turned out to be a hoax created by Rantic Marketing.
In other security news, North Korea suffered a widespread internet outage following a row with the US. The US recently claimed that North Korea hacked Sony Pictures, leading to the company pulling a controversial film about North Korea called The Interview.
Some internet services have been restored in North Korea following the outage.
Elsewhere, KPMG partner Stephen Bonner believes cyber criminals will become more selective with how they target victims in 2015, moving away from mass spear-fishing tactics in favour of highly targeted ‘campaigns’, based on the data trail people leave in their online lives.
Bonner said: “Ultimately, cyber defense will be akin to a game of whack-a-mole – with more emphasis on spotting attacks, more sharing of intelligence in near real-time and more efforts by companies and governments to counter and disrupting cyber-attacks quickly. But to win the game a change in mindset is needed, with security teams reinventing themselves by engaging with the business to really understand their priorities and justify their budget, ensuring that their efforts are focused on defending key business assets, while all the while being seen as an enabler for doing business in the digital world.”
Looking towards Christmas, apparently some domestic abusers will use tracking devices inside toys to get to their victims, according to not-for-profit organisation Digital-Trust.
A counsellor at Relate said: “We placed a woman in a refuge whose abusive ex was determined to find her. He only had supervised visits to his young children but he used that opportunity to try and get to the mother by placing a tracking device inside a toy. That is why it is important we start consider a woman’s digital safety because it can easily compromise her physical safety”.
Plus, Mobile Force Field says that more children will receive electronic tablets for Christmas this year than ever before - leaving them more exposed than ever to online dangers.
Records are set to be broken for a second year with cheaper Android tablets the 'must-have' present for 2014 leaving Mobile Force Field MD Matt Archer with real concerns for child online safety.
He fears that the rush for technology will leave more children than ever hopelessly exposed to the online dangers highlighted by Prime Minister David Cameron at the November internet summit on child safety.