Whenever something big happens – a celebrity death, a holiday, or even a highly anticipated product release – we at Trend Micro immediately scour the web looking for any ‘traps’. These ‘traps’ are set by cybercriminals in order to prey upon anyone looking for more information about that big news item. The act of tailoring these traps to relevant topics or events is called social engineering. Thousands fall prey to it every time it crops up.
Social engineering schemes often leverage buzz-worthy events or topics to victimize users. For breaking news like calamities or notable deaths, cybercriminals work hard to churn out social engineering scams hours after the said event occurs. For instance, social engineering scams appeared just two hours after the Japan tsunami and earthquake in March. Some cybercriminals also use social engineering for events long before they occur: spam related to the 2012 Olympics appeared as early as 2008.
Invariably, we find signs that people have been falling for these schemes time and again. In our e-guide, “5 Reasons Why Social Engineering Tricks Work,” and infographic, “Countdown to System Infection,” we discuss things users need to know about social engineering schemes. We tell what socially-engineered attacks actually look like, what they’ve been about in the past, how fast they can occur, and where you would usually find them. Most important of all, we show you what to look out for, so you can avoid becoming a victim of such scams.