April Fools’ Day is Fun, But Beware of the Cybercriminal Party Poopers


Another April Fools’ Day just passed, and as per usual more than a few good pranks came of it. April Fools’ Day is a lot of fun. But of course, there are always cybercriminal party poopers who want to ruin everyone’s good time.

Unlike harmless April Fools’ Day jokes, Internet scams perpetrated by hackers can be a really terrible experience and might even result in huge economic losses for some people. As cybercriminals get better and better at disguising their ploys, security software is likewise constantly being upgraded to keep pace with the latest threats. At the same time, normal computer users should also make sure to stay up-to-date on the most recent Internet scams that are floating around. To this end, Baidu Antivirus security experts would like to introduce some of the most recent tricks and scams that you should keep an eye on:

1. Keep an eye on your online wallet

Lots of cybercriminals directly target peoples’ online wallets with the intention of obtaining private information like account passwords for PayPal, eBay, online bank accounts, and other online funds.

Figure 1. A fake PayPal phishing webpage

2. Keep an eye on your Network IDs

Normally, people use a variety of online accounts to manage their personal information. For example, they might use their Apple ID to manage their photos and contacts. Last year, nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities were leaked because hackers were able to crack their Apple IDs. Users should always be vigilant when logging into any online or cloud-based account, and make sure that the Wi-Fi network and browser that they’re using are both safe.

Figure 2. A fake Apple phishing website

3. Keep an eye on your photos and documents

Peoples’ computers always contain tons of different types of files, some of which are really personal and precious. After the appearance of the ransomware program called CryptoLocker at the end of 2013, people faced the risk of permanently losing their data. The Baidu Security team recommends that everyone regularly backs up their data onto multiple devices (hard drives, etc.) to avoid potential loss of photos, videos or other files. Worst of all, attacks like CryptoLocker will hold your most valued files for a ransom.

Figure 3. The devious CTB-Locker ransomware attack

4. Keep an eye on your social media accounts

Cybercriminals are experts at using Facebook and other social networks to quickly spread viruses. People who aren’t cautious enough can easily stumble into traps, and in doing so endanger themselves or others. For example, it’s easy to spread malware to your friends if you’re not focused.

Figure 4. A Facebook scam which lures in users with porn, then spreads via malicious links

Sources: CNN, TechRepublic

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