Amazon Prime Day in hacker’s sights
Check Point’s security researchers fear a large phishing campaign around the sales giant’s discount days. Numerous fake websites went online as bait in recent days.
The security researchers of Check Point Research note again this year that cybercriminals abuse the Amazon Prime Day , a digital shopping event of the group with special offers, to cheat unsophisticated users through spoofing and phishing. The goal is information about the people themselves, their credit cards, bank accounts and passwords. Taking advantage of such opportunities is not new – especially Prime Day serves as a worldwide very large sales event for the criminals for years as a welcome camouflage. The Prime Day will take place on 21 and 22 June 2021.
In the past 30 days, the security experts recorded over 2300 contaminated or suspicious new domains related to the keyword Amazon – this is an increase of about 10 percent compared to last year. 46 Percent of the newly registered domains could undoubtedly be classified as malicious; 32 percent were classified as suspicious and are being observed. This so – called domain spoofing is a popular means among hackers to lull their victims to safety and, meanwhile, to bring them money and sensitive information-disguised under the guise of Amazon. The following is an example of how a criminal pretends to be a support employee in order to elicit the access data to the victim’s Amazon account.
In addition to obvious errors within the text of the message, which they expose as a fake, it was not sent from an official Amazon address, but by: xxxxadmin[at]fuseiseikyu-hl[.]jpxxx. This is very clear evidence that the message was not sent by Amazon. In general, mistakes in spelling and grammar, as well as suspicious e-mail addresses, are a big warning sign against phishing scams. Accordingly, the link did not lead to an official page and there to account verification, but to a real-looking website of the criminals, which has now been shut down.
Christine Schönig, Regional Director Security Engineering CER, Office of the CTO at Check Point
Christine Schönig, Regional Director Security Engineering CER, Office of the CTO-Check Point Software Technologies GmbH“Prime Day is a prime opportunity for hackers of all kinds.The danger is that customers will be tempted to accidentally send their personal data such as home and e – mail address, telephone number or even credit card details and passwords to criminals. We also suspect that the cyber criminals will significantly increase their efforts around Amazon Prime Day this year. Almost all registered domains around Amazon as keyword were provided by us with red flags so as dangerous or suspicious claimed. I strongly recommend that all customers – and this year, as a matter of urgency – be very careful to check for spelling errors in messages that are supposed to come from Amazon, check the sender address of the emails, do not follow any links in case of suspicion, and only share the most necessary information.“
How to Stay Safe on Amazon Prime Day:
To help online shoppers stay protected this year, Check Point specialists have put together practical safety and protection tips:
- Pay attention to incorrect spellings of Amazon.de. Beware of typos or websites that use a different top-level domain than Amazon.de use. Internationally, for example, a .co instead of a. com. The offers on these copycat sites often look deceptively real.
- Pay attention to the green padlock. Do not enter your payment details on a website that does not have Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption installed. To know if the site has SSL, pay attention at the beginning of the address bar-even before the www. – on the letter S in HTTPS. If there is only http, then the encryption is missing. In addition, in modern browsers, a closed padlock appears as an icon, typically to the left of the address line, where the URL of the website is.
- ** Share only the essentials. No online shopping retailer actually needs your birthday or ID number to do business. But the more hackers find out, the better they can abuse your identity or blackmail you. Personal data has become a valuable raw material of the digital world.
- Always pay attention to the language in the email. Social engineering techniques are designed to exploit human nature. These include the fact that people are more likely to make mistakes when they are in a hurry, or tend to follow the instructions of higher-ranking people without refutation. Accordingly, phishing messages are written. In this way, scammers try to convince their victims to ignore a suspicion regarding an email and click on a link or open an attachment.
- Before Prime Day, create a strong password for Amazon.de. Once a hacker gains access, it’s too late. Passwords should therefore be as difficult as possible. Password managers can help here as programs to have complicated passwords created by algorithms.
- Do not use public Internet hot spots. If you’re at an airport, hotel, or your local coffee shop, don’t use public Wi-Fi to shop on Amazon Prime Day. These entrances are usually poorly or not protected and thus open like a barn door for man-in-the-middle attacks. Hackers can intercept everything they do and look at on the Internet here. This includes emails, payment details, browsing history or passwords.
- Beware of exaggerated bargains. If a discount seems too good to be true, it probably is. Listen to your gut feeling: An 80 percent discount on the new Apple iPad is hardly a reliable or trustworthy buying opportunity.
- Stay with credit cards or payment service providers when in doubt. If you do not want to pay by bank transfer during Amazon Prime Day, then it is best to stick to your credit card or to a service provider. Debit cards linked to our bank accounts, and direct debit as a way of requiring account number disclosure, expose you to a high level of risk should you end up on a fraudulent website or be on an insecure network. In the case of credit cards, however, the provider is always in between for security and liability.