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Home News 13 Biggest Online Scams and Threats in 2018
13 Biggest Online Scams and Threats in 2018 13 Biggest Online Scams and Threats in 2018
News | 11/27/2018

13 Biggest Online Scams and Threats in 2018


When was the last time you checked your PC health? Do you know your PC requires a regular Check Up!!!

Internet Scams in 2018

Internet scams are continuously evolving as the hackers are constantly finding new easy targets by refining their programs or applications to break cyber defenses. For cyberattackers, it is now a business to earn an illegal profit through online scams, online banking attacks and online threats.

Previously, thieves use to loot a bank in a black suit and mask on their face while police and security forces use to combat them. However, the black suit and mask are same, but technical advancement has changed and shifted the scenario of loots, house thefts, etc. in this socially engineered world to a next level.

As per an article in www.scams.info thieves are called cyber attackers/hackers and loots are via online banking and personal information. Time has certainly changed and the internet has made computer system hacking easier.


But, blaming the internet and technology is not good. The fault lies in those who used their knowledge of cybersecurity against the fair use of the internet for fulfilling their own financial needs.

Therefore, it is important to understand the attacks that happened in 2018. It is essential to know about how these attacks have changed from last year? How scams and threats in 2018 will craft advanced security measures for 2019?

But before we move towards biggest online scams and threats in 2018, let's take a quick glance at how money extortion in 2017 affected us?

$172 Billion From 7.7 Billion

The online attacks on cryptocurrency, online banking systems, money extortion, blackmail scams, phishing internet scams, attacks on your web browsers via adware, malware, viruses, social media scams and emerging number of ransomware attacks are massively rising in 2018.

Today our world has more than 7.6 billion people and groups of hackers all around the world stole $172 billion from 20 different countries in 2017.

What does this mean? It means each day averagely around $47 crore was stolen. This is an estimated amount. Just think about the amount which is not calculated, which wasn’t reported and which wasn’t shared with cybersecurity experts and research firms.

Today, more than 20% of websites are blacklisted from search engines due to the presence of online cyber threats in them. Database breaches are vigorously increasing; your data is compromising without your consent, your smartphones are infecting, computers at home and office networks aren’t secure your online servers eventually are spreading the threats and infections.

From the devastating impacts of ransomware attacks to stealth cryptocurrency miners, every malicious program is innovating, becoming organized and sophisticatedly putting an effect on our online presence. On the other hand, such attacks have opened many loopholes and vulnerabilities in our online cybersecurity defenses.

Social media online scams are questioning the security and privacy concerns while the dark web is working on the background to control everything via the internet. Is it possible to control us via the net? The answer lies in understanding the attacks, online scams and threats that happened in 2018.

Like any corruption and scam nationally, these threats and scams are internationally more successful. Also, damaged almost every kind of cyber defense. Below is a list of such attacks that didn’t give full night sleep to cybersecurity experts for days and nights.


cryptomining attacks

Cryptomining Attacks - Mining Scams

Use of your hardware whether it is mobile or your computer for obtaining money by inserting few javascript codes to steal crypto wallets for gaining profit in Bitcoins, Monero, etc. via a malware is called cryptomining.

As the world is progressing towards a cashless society, the use of digital currencies is increasing with the introduction of new cyber threats. Especially, this year saw a few worse attacks on home-based windows computer networks.

The computers were used as a laboratory to perform mining. Hackers get a share of the profit while through mining the publishers of threats get the remaining profit. Whereas the victim bears the cost of mining, electricity and damage to computer systems.

Along with it, crypto miners also injects dangerous viruses and adware to confuse your machine before it gets detected. Few examples of mining scams are threats like Coinhive Malware, DarkGate Malware and WebCobra Malware.

Ransomware Attacks - File Encrypting Scams

A malicious code that locks your files and folders daily makes a news headline in the cyber world. Ransomware is well known as a file-encrypting software that infects the system, demand money and doesn’t give you your locked files and folders.

Ransomware attacks like Wannacry attacks, Apple TSMC attack, Atlanta attacks, Allscripts attack are few major examples that show how dangerous ransomware is!

Even more, there are few notable examples of ransomware like .backup, monro, NinjaLoc, .gamma etc that demand a hefty amount of money while claiming to unlock your locked files.

Ransomware cyber attacks have grown explosively in the last couple of years. And more such attacks are inline. Thus we can only expect an increase in the attacks in 2019.

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Online Banking Trojan

Trojans steal your passwords and by passwords I mean online banking information. Banking trojans like Bluteal, Kronos banking and rogue programs are a few examples that impact the banking sector a lot.

The attacks of Kronos in April 2018, were capable enough of compromising bank accounts by stealing financial credentials. The hidden keylogger software embedded with the malicious codes of trojan steal information.

However, trojans nowadays are not that harmful when compared to their previous attacks. But, new possibilities are emerging where cybersecurity expert see great malicious attacks of only keyloggers software on our computers.

Adware and Browser Hijackers

Nowadays, no computer is free from online scams and threats. Also, every day new malicious attacks keep on lurking over the servers and internet. But, pop-ups, ad-campaigns, redirections, etc. are the most classical way of injecting virus and malware into the system.

They are easily curable and removing them is easy with antiviruses. But, as the scope of digital marketing is increasing, we don’t see an early end to the use of adware and browser hijackers in the near future.

We can’t put adware and hijacker into the list of scams and dangerous threats but, the way ad campaigns are run on the internet sometimes looks like scams. Moreover, they are found to be more annoying to the victims because developers behind such threats are only aimed at getting money via PPC.

Here we can say, ad campaigns run a money extortion scam without letting the user know about it. Also, they inject new unknown malicious threats to damage down your computer.

Social media scams

Social Media Scams

The massive rise in the popularity of social media platforms led to an upswing in social media scams. By June 2018, Facebook and Instagram had 2.23 billion and 1 billion monthly active users.

Empowering social media has opened a variety of different privacy and security concerns. Unfortunately, social media scam caused more data breaches. For example, in 2017 social security numbers, birth dates and other data of almost half of the US population was stolen.

Recently this year in 2018, Facebook–Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal had harvested data of millions of facebook’s profiles.

Additionally, with the growing ease of social media accessibility, scams like RayBan of Facebook and Instagram will emerge daily.

Phishing Scams

These type of scams involves some level of intelligence. The scammer will send you an email containing some important information that could become helpful to you. They design the email in such a way that it resembles a legitimate email from a big brand.

The content of the email requests you some form of verification. However, there is always a form of urgency attached to the email. The scammers put a link so that you can conduct your verification in the email and that verification link redirects you to a web application designed to steal your private credentials and banking information.
 
Always remember to inspect the sender email Id with carefulness it might be a good copy but could never match the exact address of the original big brand. Also, if you are unsure about your next step at any point, then feel free to contact the company support desk immediately.

Also, read: Remove 123Rescue Browser Redirect from Chrome and Mozilla Easily

Implemented Malware Attacks

Hijacking software updates via malware provide attackers an entry point to compromise well-guarded networks. For example, the Petya ransomware outbreak targeted legitimate Ukrainian accounting software that spread across networks through malicious payload throughout the globe.

Hijacking software and infiltrate computers along with secured networks allows chain attacks to implant malware. As a result, such attacks have increased to 200 percent in 2018 when compared to last year.

Internet Of Things Scam

The Internet of Things is becoming more universal as the technology is advancing. But, the bad news is, as the IoT grows, it’s has become easier for hackers to compromise the number of connected devices. Using a botnet kit, hackers quickly access any device and can infect one million devices per month.

Internet scams

Let's read about how hacking of election is a scam?

Hacking Elections - Election Scams

Fake news isn’t the only threat faced by any country running an election. There’s also the risk of cyber attacks during the voting process. For example, Russian hackers targeted the voting systems in many American states in the 2016 presidential election.

The determined attackers found many vulnerabilities and plenty of potential targets, from the voting machines to collate the voting results in favor of Donald Trump.

Moreover, now the risks have grown in 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation act is much needed in all the countries. However, the election scams are big and generate global revenue.

Disaster Relief Scam

When disasters strike, so do the fraudsters. Hiding behind the disguise of an actual aid organization, scammers always use a tragedy and natural disasters to con you out of your own money. On the other hand, you think you’re donating to an emergency relief fund and unwittingly provide credit card, banking credentials or additional e-payment information.  

For example, after Hurricane Florence in 2018, scammers targeted different parts of the country, commit fraud or identity theft. However, the Attorney General of Virginia released a notice to the residents to be vigilant. Also, telling them that disaster relief officials would never ask you for any financial or other information over the phone.

Survey Scams

The internet scams involve survey works like the email attachments. The victim receives a link to take part in the survey. Some of the polls promise reward upon completion. However, as soon as the victim clicks the link, malware and viruses install into their PC.

Always avoid visiting such suspicious websites and never open links which you receive from strangers.

Lottery Scams

Congratulations! You won the lottery or some large amount of money! Except you haven’t won anything. Such bogus emails come to you from somewhere usually claiming to be a part of the international brand or organization. And demands a processing fee for getting in touch with someone who can process your rewards and winnings.

Then the scam starts that takes your all personal information and empty your bank accounts in order to gain illegal profit.

malware crusher

Wrapping This Up!

The internet is like every other city where you will daily meet a new scam, suspicious site, illegal threats and cyberattackers. Other than 13 biggest online scams and threats in 2018, following are a few more scams that are popularly rising and becoming a new entry path to the threats.

They are debt relief scams, online games and quiz scams, charity and relief internet scam, advance fee frauds, etc. Your safety depends upon how you use internet? What do you think about it? What does your intuition say for a particular URL? Do you want to access it or not?

Everything depends upon you! A little awareness from your side will save you forever from such scams, threats and attacks. You need not to fight with scammers, but you must be extra vigilant whenever you met something or someone on the internet.


Tips to Prevent virus and malware from Infecting Your System:
  1. Enable your popup blocker: Pop-ups and ads on the websites are the most adoptable tactic used by cybercriminals or developers with the core intention to spread malicious programs.
    So, avoid clicking uncertain sites, software offers, pop-ups etc. and Install a powerful ad- blocker for ChromeMozilla, and IE
  2. Keep your Windows Updated: To avoid such infections, we recommend that you should always keep your system updated through automatic windows update.By doing this you can keep your device free from virus.According to the survey, outdated/older versions of Windows operating system are an easy target.
  3. Third-party installation: Try to avoid freeware download websites as they usually install bundled of software with any installer or stub file.
  4. Regular Backup: Regular and periodical backup helps you to keep your data safe in case the system is infected by any kind of virus or any other infection.Thus always backup important files regularly on a cloud drive or an external hard drive.
  5. Always have an Anti-Virus: Precaution is better than cure. We recommend that you install an antivirus like ITL Total Security or a good Malware Removal Tool like Download Virus RemovalTool


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