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    Author Archive - Rowena Diocton (Technical Communications)

    Who goes on a shopping frenzy when seeing low-priced electronics and houseware just in time for the gift-giving season? Obviously a lot of people, as evidenced by the $1.25 billion total online spending seen on Cyber Monday last year, the heaviest in U.S. history. This year, entrepreneurs and consumers anticipate another record-breaking Cyber Monday as the holiday season approaches.

    What’s more is that this online holiday shopping explosion is slowly spreading across the world. In Australia, a one-day online sale, Click Frenzy, is about to kick off Christmas shopping for the first time. At around the same time as Cyber Monday, online retailers in China offer large discounts on November 11, Singles Day.

    Popular price comparison site, PriceGrabber, predicts that almost two in 10 consumers will shop using a mobile device—and of those mobile shoppers, seven in 10 will actually buy something! Building on the popularity of online shopping, mobile shopping is steadily catching on as a convenient and profitable trend.

    Deal Breakers

    How easy is it to shop on your mobile device? A few steps are all it takes to find a deal and buy it. But risks lie in the nicks and cracks where threat actors can butt in and pretend they care about getting you your product. You might not know it yet, but simply using free Internet connection or clicking paid search links can get you and your financial information into a lot of trouble.

    Even now, we are already seeing product fraud and fake offers that use the US holiday, Black Friday, on spammed messages. Like last year’s fake Black Friday and Cyber Monday discount offers that led to malware, we believe cybercriminals will take advantage of this year’s Cyber Monday.

    Risks Not Taken

    It’s a good thing you’re not entirely powerless against these mobile sniffing dogs. To help you take advantage of online deals minus the fear of information theft, we make sure you are safe every step of the way.

    Our recent infographic, “Manic Monday,” features a flow chart for secure mobile shopping. Here are also some security measures from our helpful e-guide, “Enjoy a Hassle-Free Mobile Shopping Spree!”

    • Go straight to the source for the best deals in town. Deal aggregator apps are convenient, but make sure to download them direct from their developer’s webpages. This eliminates the chances of you downloading a fake app riddled with malicious code.
    • Beware of mobile adware. You may end up getting swindled by one if you’re not careful. A security app like Trend Micro™ Mobile Security Personal Edition can detect these for you.
    • Paying a fee is safer than getting Wi-Fi access for free. Be cautious with connecting to unsecured, ‘free’ Wi-Fi networks, as you may end up giving your personal information away to cybercriminals.Connect to legitimate, secured networks instead, even if it means paying a fee. Your privacy is worth it.

    Posted in Bad Sites | Comments Off on Cyber Monday: Shopping on the Move

    As we’ve seen in the case of PCs, social engineering schemes and cybercriminal activities ride on what’s popular. This quarter, we saw how the threat landscape put a price on popularity.

    We have observed a sixfold increase in the number of Android malware as the sales of Android-based devices rise. There are now almost 175,000 malicious and potentially dangerous or high-risk Android apps—showing a drastic growth from the mere 30,000 apps we saw in June. A significant increase in the mobile adware is seen. These adware are known to display ads and gather user information without their consent. With the continuous adoption of mobile devices, predictions regarding mobile attacks are becoming a reality. Amid all these, an important question persists: Do you realize that the mobile apps you use every day are basically web clients? But do you allot the same effort to secure them?

    We also discovered that cybercriminals are not letting up on what they know people will bite. They know you will continue downloading stuff from peer-to-peer (P2P) networks. That’s why they’ll continue to plague those sites. One of the most dangerous things you can end up with is ZeroAccess malware infection. ZeroAccess malware silently runs when you use Adobe Flash Player. We recorded more than 900,000 ZeroAccess malware detections to date. Popular social media sites were still plagued by survey scams. Apart from social media top-of-mind Facebook, the bad guys also targeted the highly popular photo-blogging sensation Tumblr.

    Cybercriminals also continued to trail their sights on well-known programs, Java and Internet Explorer, even using them for sophisticated advanced persistent threat (APT) campaigns. Attackers also added malicious Android application package (APK) files, the file format used to distribute and install application software and middleware in Android OSs, to their toolkits.

    We’re seeing the same pattern. The popular always comes under siege. It pays to be aware, so read more in “3Q 2012 Security Roundup: Android Under Siege: Popularity Comes at a Price” and be in the know.

    Posted in Bad Sites | Comments Off on Perils of the Popular

    The vast number of users on the Internet definitely makes for a lucrative market for businesses. We see more companies offering social media, gaming, e-Commerce, banking, and other services online. At 2.6 billion, the world’s web surfers exceed the population of China and India combined! That’s a big potential market!

    With more services available, online activity every 24 hours has risen by the millions, even billions. Here are some examples:

    • The number of email messages sent every day almost quadrupled from 97 billion in 2007 to 419 billion today.
    • There are almost thrice as many active Starcraft players today (500,000) as there were active users (200,000) in 2004.
    • Since its release in 2004, the often phished online role-playing game, World of Warcraft now has 9.1 million subscribers.

    Apart from entrepreneurs, cybercriminals have also taken advantage of the dramatic increase in online engagement. The 150,000 average unique daily threats we see today dwarfs the mere 57 count we saw back in 2006. As a result, more spam, malware, and bad URLs now exist in cyberspace.

    The threats nowadays are not only increasing in quantity, but in sophistication as well. The basic protection we used to rely on is not enough against new generation threats. Along with virus protection and rootkit detection, social networking security is a must in this age of digital interaction. Users need to have a good web reputation service to block access to malicious URLs and configure privacy settings in their social networking accounts so as to keep critical information safe.

    Also, old spam filters may not work as well as combined anti-spam and optimized firewall can against threats like the Blackhole Exploit Kit that target users through spam messages bearing links to exploits, among others. Specialized platform security is also relevant, especially as more threats will likely aim at the upcoming Windows 8 Metro and the growing Mac OS market.

    Find out more on how you can revive security through redefined basic protection through our new infographic, “Are You Safe Online?

    Posted in Bad Sites | Comments Off on [INFOGRAPHIC] Are You Safe Online?

    Once, we used to talk about the cloud when we think of the weather. Today, we talk of the cloud that stores data, runs applications, and houses software. You often hear it in conversations. You read about it online. You know the cloud exists, but really, what is it?

    Whenever you store photos on Facebook or upload files on Google Drive, you interact with the cloud. On a smaller scale, consumers like you are contributing to the growing ecosystem of the cloud. It is a concept as real as the threats cybercriminals exert in trying to steal the data it stores.

    There is more to the cloud than virtually infinite storage or real-time communication. Blindly using the cloud without fully grasping it can give you more trouble than good. It isn’t just about trying out the fanciest apps. It is about knowing the pros and cons of “putting your data out there.”

    Before you let go of data in your desktop or mobile devices, explore the risks you’ll go through when you put it in the cloud. Find out what the cloud is, why it is fast becoming a revolutionary tool for technology and business, and how you can also safely soar like the millions who benefit out of it through our fresh perspective e-guide: Files in Flight: What You Need to Know About Cloud Storage.

    Coming Soon: The TrendLabs Security Intelligence Blog will be the new Malware Blog

    Posted in Social | Comments Off on Rising Through the Cloud

    Your online activities say a lot about who you are.

    A majority of Americans use search engines. Billions of email and instant messaging accounts are created worldwide. One in five minutes spent online is spent on social media. There are almost six billion mobile subscribers in the entire world. A considerable number of those who immerse in games, e-commerce, and banking now do it online.

    If we believe numbers don’t lie, we can only conclude the obvious: If anyone would want to reach us, the best place is on the cloud. Marketers, evangelists, even educators got the drift.

    Cybercriminals are not far behind. They glean knowledge according to popular online activities then they create scams that will catch your attention. Do you know that the simple act of misspelling a popular website’s URL can lead you to download malware? This is how some users came to download fake AV variants when they searched about the Olympics.

    Find out who you are in the cloud. Our latest eguide lists down four online personas according to the activities they’re fond of. The Web Wiz is that guy who sees the cloud as an information source. You will see your elders or such who just go online if the need arises when you read about the Optimal Prime. The Chatter Bug is that friend who’s always first to get the most social media followers. The Virtual Jock is a sports buff, that is, in the online realm.

    Each of these personas uses different activities in varying degrees. We noted the risks their immersion for each activity incurs, and saw that the most chilling effects include identity fraud, data theft, and financial loss.

    Find out how you can keep your head safe while on a digital high with our tips and suggestions on the latest TrendLabs Digital Life e-guide On A Digital High: Who Am I in the Cloud?

    Posted in Malware | Comments Off on Who Are You in The Cloud?


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