November 25, 2019
The holiday season brings with it festivities and all kinds of electronic communications related to holiday greetings, shopping, travel, shipping, and parties. Unfortunately, it also brings opportunities for malicious actors to send spam and phishing emails.
The dangers associated with interacting with phishing emails include having our systems infected and having our credentials, files, and email compromised. Once our system has been infected, malicious actors have access to information needed for account takeover and fraud. There is also the possibility of our files being encrypted and held for ransom by the criminals. It is very important to remain vigilant during the holidays when considering whether to click on links and open attachments.
Everyone loves to receive holiday greetings, but is that link really from a relative, friend, or co-worker? Criminals often utilize this tactic to trick unsuspecting recipients into clicking malicious links and opening malicious attachments. Be sure to validate with senders prior to retrieving your greeting.
Every year we are bombarded with advertising for the latest holiday sale. Much of this comes by way of email. Malicious actors take advantage of this correspondence by sending fraudulent advertising pieces containing malicious links and attachments. Often the subject matter of the email contains deals too good to be true as added incentive to click a link.
Another common holiday season correspondence includes email related to shipping and delivery of packages. Notifications of delays and delivery problems always captures the attention of recipients. These alerts play on emotion and urgency to trick unsuspecting recipients into clicking malicious links or opening malicious attachments. Always use caution when viewing emails purporting to be from shipping companies and the United States Postal Service.
Many of us travel during the holidays to visit with relatives and friends. Email notifications for flight itinerary changes can certainly get the attention of holiday travelers. Criminals often take advantage and insert malicious links to view new flight schedules. Travel alerts should always be viewed with suspicion.