Cyber ​​Monday shoppers warned of hacking attacks threatening consumers

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BUYERS hoping to cash in on great deals from Black Friday online sales are warned to stay alert for scams and ransomware attacks that could extort them from thousands of people.

With Black Friday sales already underway and Cyber ​​Monday just around the corner, experts say the fanfare surrounding discounted holiday deals online is making shoppers and retailers more vulnerable to cybercrime than at any other time of the year.

Ransomware attacks globally occur once every 11 secondsCredit: Getty

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Black Friday sales expected to increase this year as pandemic slowsCredit: EPA

Tom Callahan, chief operating officer at PDI Software, told the Digital Journal that the most serious threat comes in the form of ransomware and its variants.

Callahan noted that Ransomware, which is the fast growing type of cybercrime, occurs online about once every 11 seconds across the world.

“Ahead of Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, consumers heard about potential issues with retail and delivery supply chains,” he said.

“While there are many reasons why some products may not be on store shelves or deliveries may be delayed, one of the reasons we cannot overlook is cybersecurity. “

EXPERT WARNING

As the retail supply chain becomes increasingly digital and interconnected, a single cyberattack on a business can quickly affect the entire chain, he explained.

Callahan cited the example of Extorsionware, which is considered to be the most advanced type of ransomware and where a hacker threatens to harm the victim if their ransom is not met.

Such attacks are generally suitable for companies that process sensitive data, such as those in the financial, medical or educational industries.

“If a company is violated and decides not to pay the ransom to recover its data, cyber criminals now use that data to extort not only the company, but also the customers and partners of that company,” Callahan said.

“As a result, the explosion radius of a cyber attack can scale up very quickly over a large footprint. This has the potential to completely disrupt the retail supply chain.

Read our live Black Friday blog for the very latest news and updates …

To counter the problem, Callahan urged retailers to follow established security best practices and remain vigilant.

However, he added, companies should also “be wary of how their supply chains are intertwined. They need to be able to protect sensitive data and maintain secure access points when interacting with other businesses through the cloud.

BUYERS, PLEASE NOTE

Likewise, for potential customers, the FBI has warned that with online shopping scams at an all-time high, vigilance is essential to ensure your protection.

Be more wary of clicking on links received from unknown senders, according to the bureau.

One of the most common scams is for hackers to send what looks like marketing email from brands you know or buy from.

Typically, these scams involve promoting a sale of popular items, but after clicking on the link, you will be taken to the impostor’s website rather than the site you expected.

Additionally, shoppers should be aware of fake websites masquerading as legitimate retailers.

While they often closely resemble the site they are mimicking, you can usually tell the bogus site from the real one when you look closely.

The best way to do this is to look for the padlock symbol to the right of your search bar, which indicates that you are on a secure website, and check for URL matches.

Experts say if a deal sounds too good to be true and can’t be found anywhere else, it probably is.

“As a general rule, if a company you’ve never heard of comes up with a deal that you can’t find anywhere else, that should be a major red flag,” a report from Inc.com reads. .

“If the deal sounds too good to be true, chances are it’s a scam, and you should just stay away.”

Black Friday vs Cyber ​​Monday

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