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SMS Attacks Are On The Rise In 2019

Hackers are stealing data with phishing malware sent by text.

Over the past year, cybercrime experts identified a growing trend in the way hackers are delivering malware to mobile devices. SMS, or short message service, is better known as texting and a popular way to send short communications between devices. Cyber attacks have shifted towards using SMS messages with malware-infected links to compromise smartphone security.

Having a good antivirus such as dfndr security can protect your device if you do click on a phishing link by mistake. The app’s anti-hacking feature can also help you identify a link containing malware before you click it.

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Scammers have used phishing attacks to gain personal information for years. Phishing involves the fraudulent practice of using viruses to steal personal information such as passwords or banking data. One of the most popular ways for hackers to accomplish this is to send a message containing an infected link that compromises security and installs spyware that allows access to sensitive data. Phishing originally began circulating through emails, but recently hackers have taken to using messenger services and SMS as a quick means to try to steal information.

Cybercriminals frequently disguise their intentions by sending messages that appear to come from well-known brands.  Known as “spoofing,” this tactic includes asking users to click a link to update account information that might be out-of-date. These messages often appear to come from banks, online ordering services such as Amazon or might involve medical data from an insurance company or pharmacy.  Other favored tactics involve tricking people into entering sweepstakes by responding to an SMS message by clicking a link to register or making a donation to a disaster relief fund.

Be cautious of strange SMS messages!

There are a variety of things that online thieves can do with your stolen data. Often, cybercriminals sell compromised credentials on the dark web, an online black marketplace.  Banking and credit card data is commonly used to make unauthorized purchases, and other data like social security numbers can be used to illegally establish credit or take out loans in your name.

There are several things you can do to protect yourself from becoming a victim:

  1. Avoid responding to SMS messages requesting information updates and do not click on any links. Instead, contact the business directly using a known published phone number or stop by in person.
  2. You should never share sensitive information via SMS even if the person asking is someone well known to you. Hackers can spoof phone numbers and trick you into believing that you are conversing with a friend or family member.
  3. Use a call blocker to keep unknown numbers or strange messages from riddling your phone. dfndr security has a call blocker feature that’s easy to activate!