The latest cryptocurrency mining scam defrauding unsuspecting Australians is using fictional free bitcoins located at two shortened URLs to lure in investors. However once the URL is visited, the USR hijacks the user’s computer IP address for using the same in scamming purposes in days to come. Nick Savvides, the Chief Technology Officer at Symantec, has described the scam as a “classic, hard sell, pump and dump type spam,” during his interview with Australian media outlet Nine.
He adds that the links provided redirects users to a website which “constantly asks you to sign up for their service. What the scammers are trying to do is trick you into handing over your CPU cycles so you can mine bitcoins for them. And in the process, they want you to hand over your personal information so they can use that to conduct further scams on you.”
Mr. Savvides agrees to the fact that the number of SMS-based scams have been on a constant rise given the fact that people are much less cautious while handling SMS link requests rather than those stumbled upon while browsing the web.
“When you get a text message you implicitly trust your device more because you don’t expect your attackers to be sending you SMS’ with links to malware or scams,” Savvides explains. He added that, “we all get SMS notifications from random numbers – if a taxi pulls up out the front of my place I get a notification from a random number,” thus making us less suspicious of shady activities entered into by taking the guard of SMS shield.
Mr. Savvides exclaimed that majority of Australian fail to take the basic security precautions when it comes to mobile phones. He thinks that “very few people are downloading filtering technologies or safeguards to protect their mobile devices.” He concluded by saying that “this problem is going to get a lot worse in the next couple years because… we trust our devices.”
In another part of the world, personal data pertaining to 46 million Malaysian mobile phone users have been made available in online cloud in exchange of just one Bitcoin. This breach is estimated to have adversely affected “almost the entire population of Malaysia.” Salleh Keruak , Malaysia’s Communications and Multimedia Minister, stated that, “we have identified several potential sources of the leak and we should be able to complete the probe soon.”
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