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Christmas a special time for cyber criminals - Check Point

The Christmas period has proven to be a special season for cyber criminals, as they take advantage of shopping days to intensify phishing attacks, ransomware and even dropping malware into emails. According to Check Point Software, during this time of frenzied shopping for the perfect or last minute Christmas gifts, cyber attacks are intensified.

According to the company, on Amazon's Prime Day, for example, attacks related to the company increased by 37% compared to the average for June. The strategies range from the creation of web pages that simulate those of another company, through phishing emails, impersonations, to ransomware attacks.

Check Point Software has released a statement to raise awareness among online gift shoppers to be cautious at all times and take the necessary precautions.

According to Check Point Software’s Brand Phishing Report Q3 2022, phishing is also a major player in internet scams, and in the last quarter, DHL, the parcel delivery company, was the most impersonated company setting up shoppers for cyber crime.

At a time when eCommerce is stronger than ever, it is necessary to be especially careful with messages from such invitations for offers, the company states.

In order for people to be able to shop securely and without any mishaps, Check Point Software has provided tips for a safe and secure shopping experience:

  • Always buy from an authentic and reliable source: Always look for the link in the search engine, never click on links sent by e-mail or text message, as they are potentially dangerous because many cyber criminals try to phish through these channels.
  • Be aware of similar domains: Cyber criminals will always try to make the domains they create for the pages they imitate look as similar as possible to the original, but they will always have some spelling mistakes or the domain name will be misspelt, so by paying close attention to such spellings, users can avoid future problems.
  • Offers that seem too good to be true, will always be too good to be true: If an offer is too good to be true, it is probably a scam, even more so at this time of the year when there are usually no big discounts. Don't get carried away by surprisingly low prices.
  • Always look for the lock: Secure Internet sites have the letters HTTPS at the beginning of the domain, as opposed to those that are not, which have HTTP without the final "s". HTTPS sites are those that comply with international security standards.
  • Have endpoint security solutions in place: It is necessary to have them for the email as well as for websites when we surf the internet, since they can prevent the spread of such malware to the rest of the equipment or computers.
  • Be on the lookout for password reset emails: Companies will never ask users to reset a password unless the user has requested it themselves, so if a user receives an email about changing their password, the best thing to do is to go to the company's website and change the password from there.

Ashwin Ram, Cyber Security Evangelist at Check Point Software, says, "We all want to have a smooth Christmas, buy gifts for ourselves and our family and friends and have a peaceful vacation, but cyber criminals do not take vacations and that is why you have to be very cautious, even more so at this time of year.

"Cyber attacks, as our reports point out, continue to increase, especially more so around such special holiday seasons such as Christmas. Both ransomware and phishing are the order of the day for companies and individuals, so no one is exempt from danger."

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