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Identity impersonation grows online and “ransomware” drops

The digital identity impersonation is one of the online crimes that has grown the most in recent times and that greater sophistication has won, while the kidnappings of data or “ransomware” are going down, Efe’s head of cybersecurity told Efe today. Microsoft, Diana Kelley.

Phishing is one of the most common cyber attacks around the world, consisting of gaining the confidence of the Internet through a false identity and obtain secret information such as passwords, social security numbers or credit cards.

“We are seeing many cases of ‘phishing’ in which the attackers are increasingly sophisticated, they use information from the victim obtained on social networks to personalize the emails they send and thus deceive the victims,” ​​said the head of cybersecurity. .

Identity theft is not just one of the most common online crimes, but also one of the fastest growing, and in its latest Security Intelligence Report, Microsoft found that, in the past month of April, a random sample of analyzed emails, 0.7% contained “phishing”.

Although at first sight this figure may seem minor, this means that approximately 1 out of every 150 e-mails analyzed was an attempt to gain illegal access to data through identity theft.

0.7% is also significantly higher than the 0.49% detected one year earlier, in April 2018, and five times more than the 0.14% in January 2018.

“This is no longer the classic example of fraudulent mail in which a prince from a distant country asks for financial help to regain his throne and promises compensation What we see now are e-mails that really seem to come from a well-known source by the receiver, very detailed, “explained Kelley.

The head of cybersecurity at Microsoft gave as an example a case of fraudulent emails in which the attackers went to residents of several towns in the United States posing as local businesses that the recipients knew and with which they could have interacted.

In parallel to the increase and greater complexity of the cases of “phishing”, there is a reduction in one of the cyber crime modalities that more media attention generated only two years ago, in 2017, when data hijacking or “ransomware” It reached very high figures all over the planet.

The hijacking of data, consisting in hackers accessing personal or professional information contained in a computer or in the cloud, blocking it and demanding from its legitimate owner the payment of a ransom in order to regain access to it, came to affect 0.11% of all the systems analyzed by Microsoft at the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018.

Last April, however, this percentage had been reduced to 0.02%.

The cases of data sequestration, moreover, are concentrated in emerging markets in Latin America, Africa and Asia, while its presence in the United States, Western Europe, Japan and Australia is practically testimonial.

“Emerging areas are more affected, not that these countries are doing something wrong, but rather they are characteristic of the markets that are going through this stage,” said Kelley, who explained that there are two factors that contribute decisively to this being A) Yes.

First, the prevalence of software piracy, much more common in developing economies, which means that computer systems do not receive the relevant security updates, and on the other hand, less “cybernetic hygiene” (practices to maintain clean and safe systems) because of the most recent landing of users in the digital world.

Finally, another global upward trend observed by Microsoft cybersecurity officials was the increase in cases of illegal “mining” of cryptocurrencies, in which pirates access foreign systems and create digital money from cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. , without the owner of the system even having proof of it. (EFEUSA) .-

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