2014 has been a year full of hoax stories, malware, and cybercrime. It’s also seen a boom in hoax new stories, as these are extremely successful social engineering tactics used by hackers to get people to click on links, and worse, share the news with their friends and become part of the spread of infection.
At the moment, there is a spike in hoax stories that spread malware and infect your phone and computer. Cyber-criminals use all the tricks in their black book to get you to click on and share hoax stories with your friends. This happens on Facebook, popular websites, they are sent straight into your inbox, and even major news outlets are sharing them unknowingly.
Be on the lookout for these 5 hoaxes:
- Stories that urge you to share something before you have even read them.
- Celebrity deaths are increasingly being used to shock people into clicking on links and making a zombie out of their PC or lock their smartphone with ransomware. Recent example: Will Smith.
- Very violent video news reports that draw your attention with “Warning: Graphic Content”, and lurid titles like “Giant Snake Swallows Zookeeper”.
- Outrageous stories about Facebook itself, like it will start charging for the service, it sells your personal information, a way to show you who looked at your page, or other claims that might upset your and lure you to click on a link.
- And last, especially in this season of charity, heartrending reports about dying girls that beg you for “likes” so they can obtain drugs or hospital treatment.
Cybercrime is moving to mobile malware with astonishing speed, so be especially careful clicking/tapping on suspicious things on your smartphone. Anything you received, but didn’t ask for, watch out because your phone may get locked with mobile ransomware.