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6 Black Friday Cyber Threats Every Shopper Needs

Cyber Attacks on Black Friday

Black Friday Cyber Threats

It’s that time of the season – the unrealistic expectation for snow rises, the knitted sweaters move to the closet front, and credit card information is entered into a variety of sites. Your bank account certainly didn’t miss November sales, but we know of at least a few people for whom this is truly a happy holiday season.

The November sales have always brought with them a sharp increase in data security events, and this year it is expected to be even more severe, given the fact that there is a 75% increase in the number of people intending to shop online than in 2019 – probably in light of the Coronavirus.

This statistic is more daunting than ever, following the estimates that more than 2.5 million pounds were stolen from UK citizens at cyber Monday and Black Friday of 2020. In total, it is estimated that the total amount of cyber scams in the month leading up to Christmas 2020 was £ 15 million in the UK alone.

So as holidays that symbolize capitalism at its best are approaching, it’s time for a little reminder of the list of threats that can spoil your holiday atmosphere. 

Fake Sites

The most popular method among hackers is to direct us to fake sites, imitations of the source. These sites usually look very similar to the original, but with attention to small details, the forgery can be identified.

Spelling errors in links – Links of these sites are usually written differently from the original links. 

Example:  www.ailexpress.com instead of www.aliexpree.com

Pixelized images

Site not working properly

If it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t true

A website with no contact info/ company details

Read all about phishing in our full phishing article

Phishing

Rule of thumb, never click links sent from emails, certainly not emails announcing incredible discounts and sales on our favorite site. These links can direct us to a fake website, or download malicious malware that stores credit details even if the order has been made on the original site. 

Pay attention to warning signs:

Misspelling like: Google vs google

Not an SSL link (without the lock sign in the URL command)

Source: Cybeready

Pop-up Ads

Like phishing, pop-up ads are a way to download malware and viruses that allow credit card theft and direct to fake websites. 

Source: Trendmicro

Debit Card

The debit card may allow for efficient financial management for those of us who have difficulty maintaining a budget, however, if its details are stolen there is no going back. 2020 registered an all-time record of 117 million dollars stolen from debit alone. With credit cards, it is much easier to correct the theft injustice. Blocking the card and canceling transactions can be done quickly, and most credit card companies allow for a full refund in the case of fraud, which is not the case with debit cards.

Unsecured Networks

As a former frequent traveler, this one is a little hard to remember but crucial for any public wi-fi user. Avoid accessing sensitive accounts when connected to public wi-fi such as cafes, Hotels, and airports. These networks can be used to launch a Man in the Middle attack, intercepting any communication between your device and the site’s server. This attack has 2 stages:

This type of attack has two stages – interception and decryption:

Interception

The hacker tries to intercept the connection between the user and the service provider, usually by creating a free and public hotspot. Once the victim connects to the hotspot without the need for a password, the attacker has full access to the internet communication.

Conclusion 

Do not login to sensitive accounts when connected to unsecured wi-fi (airports, cafes, etc.)

Decryption 

After intercepting the user’s Internet communication, the information received must be decrypted without alerting the user – SSL abstraction or hijacking can be used, and HTTPS Spoofing.

Conclusion 

Pay attention to the browser messages that report suspicious activity

MITM attack

Monitor Your Expenses

Keep track of your bank account and credit charges for the month following the end of your November shopping, to ensure there are no unapproved or unusual charges. In any case of suspicion, contact the business in question, obtain an invoice and if the charge was not made by you, contact the credit company and cancel the card immediately.

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