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Fraudulent Advertisements is the Top Scam in Q2

Find out the 3 biggest cyber threats in our latest security report.

dfndr lab’s Q2 Cybersecurity Report is released today and our data shows an increased trend in smartphones as a target for cybercriminal activity. In Q1, our security experts blocked 3M malicious URLs and that number jumped 51.2% to 4.5M in Q2. That breaks down to 34 malicious links identified per minute or 2,040 malicious link detections per hour.  

The top 3 types of scams detected by dfndr lab were:

    1. Fraudulent advertisements –  Q2 saw an increase in fraudulent ads of just over 2M up from 1.5M in Q1. 12% of these detections were related to push notifications that users enabled voluntarily. We are moving so fast that a popup message in a web browser is easy to click “OK” on without reading closely what that means, and both hackers and advertisers will take advantage of your complacency. Only give permissions to apps and sites you both trust and that will give you value for the data they are requesting, and that make an explicit commitment to never sell the data you provide them and to keep your devices free of spam.


    1. Generic phishing scams – Generic phishing remained the second most common tactic used by hackers and saw a 90% increase this quarter from Q1 with over 1M detections. The most common method used was malware-infected links spread through SMS messages. Never click on an unknown link in an SMS message unless you’re expecting a specific message from a familiar sender. If you’re unsure at all, use our free, URL checker tool to determine if the link is safe to access.


  1. Fake promotions/giveaways –  These scams continued to see an increase this quarter from 7.2% up to 8.6% and jumped from the fifth most detected scam in Q1 to the third most detected in Q2. The increase in activity is due to the fact it’s still summer and phony promises of big-ticket items like trips or electronics are common for this time of year. Before entering a contest or sharing personal data for a promotion, ensure it’s legitimate by verifying through an official website or vendor.
dfndr lab © 2018

Data Privacy in Q2 2018
This has been the year of data privacy issues since the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal. We care about your privacy and how your data is being used and/or abused, so we conducted a survey of over 5K Android users to better understand your privacy and security concerns.

56% of respondents are now more concerned about their privacy since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, than they were before, while only 4% said they were not concerned about data privacy at all. 27% of respondents feared keeping credit card or debit card information on their phones, 24% worried about having banking apps installed, 13% were concerned about keeping private photos, while 9% counted videos as their biggest fear.

dfndr lab © 2018

These findings suggest consumers are becoming aware of personal data being vulnerable to marketers and/or hackers, but perhaps more guidance is required, to help you find some real-world solutions to protecting your data in uncertain online interactions.

Our Q2 Cybersecurity Report has tips to keep your data safe and you can learn more about the dangers of fraudulent ads related to push notifications. Access the report here:

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