Kaspersky Lab’s anti-phishing system prevented more than 482 million attempts to visit fraudulent web pages during 2018, a two-fold increase on 2017, when 236 million such attempts were blocked. Annual rises in the number of phishing attacks have been observed for the last few years, yet the figure for 2018 indicates a significant surge in the use and popularity of such attacks. These and other findings are documented in Kaspersky Lab’s new report, Spam and phishing in 2018.
Phishing is one of the most flexible types of ‘social engineering’ attacks, as it can be disguised in many ways and used for different purposes. To create a phishing page, all one needs to do is create a replica of a popular or trusted website, lure unwary users to the site and trick them into entering personal information. Such information often includes financial credentials such as bank account passwords or payment card details, or access credentials for social media accounts. It could also be a case of getting someone to open an attachment or click on a link that then downloads malware onto their computer. The consequences of such attacks may range from a loss of money to the compromise of an entire corporate network. Phishing attacks, especially of the malicious link or attachment variety are a popular initial infection vector for targeted attacks on organisations.
The rapid growth of phishing attacks in 2018 is part of a long running trend, with both 2017 and 2016 experiencing increases of 15% on the previous year. However, the 2018 figure marks a new peak.
The financial sector was hit especially hard: Over 44% of all phishing attacks detected by Kaspersky Lab technologies were aimed at banks, payment systems and online shops. This means that there were almost as many financial phishing attacks in 2018 as there were phishing attacks overall in 2017.
The country with the highest percentage of users attacked by phishing remained Brazil with 28% of all attacked users. Portugal, which was in 7th place a year ago, is now ranked second with 23% of users, while Australia moved from second to third, with 21% of those affected.
“The rise in the number of phishing attacks could be influenced by the increased efficiency of social engineering methods used for enticing users to visit fraudulent pages. 2018 was marked by the active exploitation of new schemes and tricks, such as scam-notifications, along with the perfection of old ones, for instance the traditional scams around Black Friday or national holidays. All in all, scammers are becoming better at taking advantage of important occasions happening around the world, like the FIFA world football championship,” said Tatyana Sidorina, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.
Other findings of the spam and phishing in 2018 report include:
- The share of spam in mail traffic was 52.48%, which is 4.15 p.p. less than in 2017.
- The biggest source of spam this year was China (11.69%).
- 74.15% of spam emails were less than 2 KB in size.
- Malicious spam was detected most commonly with the Win32.CVE-2017-11882 verdict.
- The Anti-Phishing system was triggered 482,465,211 times.
- 18.32% of unique users encountered phishing.
Kaspersky Lab experts advise users to take the following measures to protect themselves from phishing:
- Always check online addresses in unknown or unexpected messages, whether it is the web address of the site to which you are directed, the link address in a message and even the sender’s email address, to make sure they are genuine and that the link in the message doesn’t cover another hyperlink.
- If you are not sure that the website is genuine and secure, never enter your credentials. If you think that you have may have entered your login and password on a fake page, immediately change your password and call your bank or other payment provider if you think your card details were compromised.
- Always use a secure connection, especially when you visit sensitive websites. Do not use unknown or public Wi-Fi without password protection. If you are using an insecure connection, cybercriminals can redirect you to phishing pages without your knowledge. For maximum protection, use VPN solutions that encrypt your traffic, such as Kaspersky Secure Connection.
- Use a proper security solution with behaviour-based anti-phishing technologies, such as Kaspersky Security Cloud and Kaspersky Total Security, which will warn you if you are trying to visit a phishing web page.
Find more details about spam and phishing in 2018 on Securelist.com.
Gaming gets rad at Rand Show
With the opening of the 125th Rand Show at Nasrec, south of Johannesburg, today, gamers and cosplayers have a new destination to strut their stuff.
A new addition to the show, the Gaming Entertainment Pavilion, is offering anything from gaming and cosplay to dance-offs and science displays.
The organisers provided the following information (although several million exclamation marks and exaggerations have been removed!):
There was a time when Gaming was a considered a solitary pastime, confined to single player consoles; but that truly is a thing of the past with a fully immersive Fortnite Tournament open to all Fortnite afficionados and even those just starting out. Players can battle it out over both show weekends, including a final on each weekend. Family fan clubs can also get in on the action with live broadcasts of the game as it happens across screens – a full-on Fortnite family affair. Sponsored by PlayStation, gamers are truly going to be spoiled and should get in on the action as fast as they can because R 100 000 in cash prizes is up for grabs.
Smart Technology Centre will deliver a super-fast FibreMAX 500Mbps fibre link, wholly dedicated to the gaming pavilion to ensure that absolutely nothing ruins the thrill of the National Fortnite Tournament.
“As the exclusive connectivity provider, we have gone all out to ensure an amazing experience for gamers,” says Dillynn Els of Smart Technology Centre (STC), an internet service provider (ISP) and IT technology partner. “When it comes to gaming and the best experience possible, it’s all about ensuring we provide a dedicated, uncapped, unshaped connection that makes every second count.”
Keen players can come along and enter on the day, but don’t delay because space is limited.
Fortnite Inspired Dance Off
Visitors can come along and be entertained by the finalists in the Fortnite inspired dance-off. There will be daily dances to enjoy for the entire duration of the show.
Come and play – Cosplay, to be exact.
The stage is set for a celebration of creativity and imagination that is going to be literally out of this world. Super hero heavy weights and masters of the mysterious will be letting their creative vision loose and take part in various Cosplay Tournaments and a visually stunning Cosplay Masquerade. Come see what all the fuss is about and get lost in this world costumes, colour and creative talent.
Games, Games and Science
For those wanting to get their gaming on, there will be three free play areas sponsored by Xbox with a host of games available to play. Xbox will be giving away 3 Xbox 1’s and an awesome Xbox 1X, but you truly have to be in it to win it, so make sure you don’t miss out.
The Kalahari Scientist will be onstage delighting visitors with his explosive displays that are guaranteed to up the ooh and aah factor with audiences young and old.
But wait, there’s more
Along with the larger-than-life gaming entertainment offering, visitors will also get to be the first gamers on SA soil to get a sneak peak of PlayStation’s brand new Mortal Kombat 11. Don’t miss your chance to experience the continuation of this epic saga through a new cinematic story that is more than 25 years in the making. The iconic showcasing brutal battles like never before, along with a host of customisable fighters with enhanced graphics and animations.
Other activities at the Pavilion include VR Experiences, a full-on NAG Nerf Arena, Gaming vendors with awesome gaming content, retailers selling gaming related products and software, and tutorials and workshops on how to improve your gaming skills, Celebrity Fortnite match off for charity.
With huge sponsors such as PlayStation, Xbox, MMS, NAG, SABC 2 and Smart Technology, the Gaming Entertainment Pavilion is geared up to become a hot zone of entertainment.
In case the entertainment offering just doesn’t get the heart beats racing fast enough, an all-expenses paid trip to TwitchCon USA, sponsored by PlayStation, in conjunction with 94.7 Highveld Stereo, is waiting for one lucky visitor to grab it. Every ticket purchased into the Entertainment Gaming Pavilion qualifies as an entry, so bring the whole family along for the ride.
Tickets to the Gaming Entertainment Pavilion can be purchased at the show for R 20 which gives the ticket holder access for two hours.
The pavilion will be open from 14h00 to 19h00 weekdays and 10h00 to 19h00 on weekends from 19 to 28 April 2019.
Riaad Moosa show debuts on Vodacom Video Play
Riaad Moosa’s comedy special, Life Begins, will be the first major local title to be released on Vodacom’s video-on-demand service, Video Play.
As an award-winning comedian, actor, writer and presenter, Riaad Moosa is one of South Africa’s most renowned funny men. His one-man show is available for download on the platform from today, 26 April 2019. Life Begins is rated PG-16L
Vodacom’s says its affordable video-on-demand service, Video Play, has had an incredible uptake since its launch in August 2018, with over 2-million subscribers.
“But with a proliferation of affordable video-on-demand platforms available to the South African market, what is it that gives Video Play the competitive edge?” it asked in a release this week. “Recognising the consumer’s need for flexibility and freedom of choice, Vodacom has ingeniously developed an adaptable subscription model that puts the power in consumers’ hands. Forget being tied down to a monthly subscription. Video Play gives consumers the liberty of choosing a daily, weekend or even monthly package.
“Blockbuster movies can even be viewed for a once off cost, without subscription. Furthermore, these bundles can be purchased according to niche categories and genres, from Bollywood movies to gospel music.”
Consumers are able to pay for movies and series by using their airtime or adding it to their bill, eliminating the need for a credit card. Subscribers are also able to purchase video-specific data at a fraction of the regular price to consume constant content without overspending. Daily subscriptions start from R5 a day.
Zunaid Mahomed, Group Digital and Fixed Services Officer, says: “Video Play has enabled the company to provide a seamless and enjoyable customer experience. With the addition of Riaad Moosa’s Life Begins, we’re excited to offer consumers even more quality content and a wider variety of entertainment on demand than ever before. We’re putting quality entertainment, into the hands of anyone with a mobile device and an internet connection.”
Riaad Moosa describes his show as “very philosophical and existential”.
“It involves the normal issues of getting older while at the same time experiencing, at a maturity where I’m supposed to be wise, a world that is completely turned on its head. It’s about how I negotiate all these things happening around me while trying to maintain a positive attitude. Through my comedic lens, I hope to put a different spin on that and hopefully I can enter my next 40 years with renewed vigour and excitement.”
To access Riaad Moosa’s Life Begins comedy special, register for Video via the Video Play website (www.videoplay.co.za).