Phishing attacks have become an increasing problem as of late both for everyday computer users and even major publications. In the last month, there have been widespread phishing attacks aimed at both Apple and Twitter accounts. These attacks come in the form of e-mails or web pages that seem as if they were from a service the recipient uses. These e-mails trick recipients into giving over information, which then lets the cybercriminals access their accounts.
The phishing attacks aimed at Apple users mimicked an account verification page from Apple and prompted users to give their e-mail, credit card information, and account password. This particular attack compromised over one hundred websites, which displayed the page that tricked Apple users into handing over their information. Without proper Internet security service or software, it would be difficult to detect the attack for most people. The intent of such attacks is to gain access to people’s Apple accounts. Criminals will then sell the information or use it to compromise the accounts themselves.
A separate series of phishing attacks have struck much more prominent targets recently. The Syrian Electronic Army, a famous hacker group, has targeted major news outlets over the past few months, taking over the Twitter accounts for the Associated Press, The Guardian, and even the satirical newspaper The Onion. The SEA managed to fool the media professionals at these publications with cleverly placed phishing e-mails. The AP’s twitter hijacking was particularly notable. A false tweet made by the SEA on AP’s account claimed that the White House had been attacked, which briefly caused a crash in the stock market before the news was revealed to be false. Clearly, these phishing attacks can have severe consequences.
While there has been a rise in major phishing attacks recently, it is possible to keep yourself safe. Firstly, always double-check any links before you click on them. Do not open e-mails from sources you distrust. You should also change your passwords frequently. Finally, make sure you have excellent computer support, in case the worst should happen.
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