from KC News

Jan Thornborough

“You better watch out; you’d better beware, because cybercriminals are everywhere! They are making their lists and checking them twice, to see who’s next to be victimised.”  

Kāpiti based cyber resilience specialist Jan Thornborough says Cybercriminals are the epitome of the Christmas Grinch.

“They love this time of year because it is so easy to trick unsuspecting people into clicking on their fake emails and texts.”

She says an oldie but a goodie is the text message telling you that there is a parcel waiting for you.

“They ask you to download their app to track the parcel, but what you are downloading is spyware that tries to steal your banking credentials. Other variants will tell you that money is owed on the parcel that must be paid before it is delivered.

“At this time of the year, a lot of parcels are sent by couriers which means that it’s the perfect time for cybercriminals to roll out this type of attack. Be aware, think before you click. If you are not expecting a package, double-check with the sender by phone (not reply email) to verify it’s a genuine request,” says Jan who formerly headed the Cyber Resilience Unit, a part of the New Zealand government’s National Cyber Security Centre.

Ms Thornborough says Cybercriminals like to theme their attacks to whatever is in the news e.g., Christmas, Covid, etc. Unlike Kiwi businesses, cybercriminals often increase their activity around Christmas, because people are tired, and more likely to fall for a scam, also many computer systems are left unmonitored over the Christmas break.

“So, before the Christmas cyber-grinch comes to call, make sure you and your staff have a plan in place to stay safe and cyber-resilient over the Christmas break.”

For more see:

It’s easy enough to get caught; if something doesn’t look or sound right, then do some checking. —Eds