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Become Cyber Safe – 3rd August 2023

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Welcome to the latest edition of the Cyber Safe Threat Updates, a weekly series in which we bring attention to the latest cyber attacks, scams, frauds, and malware including Ransomware and DDoS, to ensure you stay safe online.

Here are the most prominent threats which you should be aware of:

Caution: Beware of Deceptive Facebook Ads Offering Free Yearly Train Travel

Beware of deceptive Facebook ads that offer free train travel for a year, claiming that Network Rail is giving away 150 travel cards. These ads are part of a scam designed to trick innocent individuals into revealing their personal and financial information.

The scam starts with a fraudulent Facebook ad that entices users with the promise of a free travel card. If you click on the ad, you’ll be directed to a suspicious website that requests your name, location, and answers to five questions. The website may display fake reviews further to convince you of the offer’s legitimacy.

Upon completing the survey, you’ll be prompted to play a “winning” game, where you pick a box, but no matter which package you choose, you’ll always be declared the winner. Following this, the website will ask you to provide your name, address, and bank details to cover a small delivery fee, typically around £3. In reality, this information will be used by scammers to exploit you immediately or in the future. They might impersonate your bank in a call, using the information you provided to make their approach seem genuine.

To avoid such scams, be cautious about clicking on suspicious ads and refrain from providing personal information to unfamiliar websites. If you encounter such deceptive ads on Facebook, report them by clicking the three dots on the ad and selecting “report.”

While you cannot entirely prevent ads from appearing on Facebook, you can manage them by accessing your profile settings, navigating to the “accounts centre,” and adjusting your ad preferences to see more or less specific topics.

If you’ve already given away your bank details or lost money to a scam, contact your bank immediately using the number on the back of your card. Additionally, report the scam to Action Fraud to help protect others from falling victim to similar fraudulent schemes. Staying vigilant and cautious online is essential to safeguarding your personal information and finances from potential scammers.


Holiday Scams You Must Be Wary Of

As the peak travel season approaches, it’s essential to be aware of the deceitful schemes that could spoil your summer vacation. Action Fraud has reported over 6,400 instances of holiday fraud in the last year, resulting in a staggering loss of £15 million to scammers. With an average loss of £2,400 per victim, falling prey to these scams can not only be financially damaging but also ruin your well-planned holiday.

Here are the scams you need to guard against this summer:

Booking Scams: Fraudsters target holidaymakers by creating fake listings on reputable booking sites or cloning well-known platforms. If you provide your details on these bogus sites, you risk exposing your personal and financial information to criminals. To avoid this, always communicate and make payments through the official booking platforms, double-check website addresses for authenticity, and avoid clicking on links in suspicious emails or texts.

Dodgy ‘Customer Service’ Twitter Accounts: Scammers impersonate customer service handles on Twitter to deceive disgruntled customers seeking assistance. They coax victims into divulging personal and payment information under the guise of resolving complaints. To steer clear of this trap, only make complaints through official company channels, be cautious of payment requests via Twitter, and report impersonation accounts to protect others.

Stay alert and informed about these scams to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday experience. Remember, prevention is key to protect yourself and your hard-earned money from falling into the hands of scammers.


Cyber attack at Estee Lauder

Estee Lauder, a renowned cosmetics company, fell victim to a cyber attack in late July, during which a malicious cyber criminal breached the company’s systems and stole data. The attack disrupted Estee Lauder’s business processes, causing significant concern for the company and its customers.

As of the public statement, Estee Lauder did not disclose how the hacker infiltrated their systems. However, the company acknowledged the severity of the situation and took immediate action by taking down some impacted systems. Their focus was on securing and restoring the affected systems to mitigate the damage caused by the cyber attack.

In response to the incident, Estee Lauder launched a comprehensive investigation into the data breach to determine the extent of the information stolen. Additionally, they notified law enforcement agencies and enlisted the help of cyber security experts to aid in their efforts to understand and address the breach.

To avoid falling victim to similar cyber attacks, both individuals and companies must take proactive measures to enhance their cyber security:

Strengthen security measures

Employ robust security protocols, including firewalls, encryption, multi-factor authentication, and regular security audits.

Train employees

Educate staff about cyber security best practices, such as recognising phishing attempts and using secure passwords. Neuways offer Managed Security and Phishing Awareness Training for this.

Regularly update software

Keep all software, including operating systems and applications, up-to-date with the latest security patches.

Back up data

Regularly back up critical data to a secure location, preferably offline or in the cloud.

Monitor network activity

Monitor network traffic for unusual or suspicious behaviour that might indicate a cyber attack.

Implement access controls

Restrict access to sensitive data and systems, ensuring that only authorised personnel can access them.

Prepare incident response plans

Develop detailed plans for responding to potential cyber security incidents, including data breaches.

By taking these proactive steps, individuals and organisations can better protect themselves from cyber threats and minimise the impact of potential data breaches. Cyber security is an ongoing effort that requires vigilance and readiness to combat the evolving tactics of cybercriminals.


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