Valentine’s Day is phishing Day: beware of Internet offers

BEC-Phishing-Kampagne stiehlt Office 365-Anmeldedaten und umgeht Multifaktor Authentifizierung

Check Point Research (CPR) has noticed an increase in the number of newly registered domains in connection with Valentine’s Day in the last three years. Some of them are suspicious.

Check Point recorded a 152 percent increase in newly registered domains around Valentine’s Day in January 2022 compared to December 2021. This year, six percent of new domains were classified as malicious and 55 percent as suspicious, and last month there were 1 out of 371 malicious emails related to Valentine’s Day. Already in the last three years, CPR has been able to notice an increase in the number of newly registered domains in this regard.

The security researchers have graphically displayed the number of newly registered domains per month over the past three years, ordered by their number. This year, the number increased by a three-digit percentage, similar to what happened in 2021 and 2020:

The security researchers have also found a meaningful example of phishing scams. The phishing email used The Millions Roses branding to entice victims to buy Valentine’s Day gifts. A company address was provided in the fraudulent email, but it is different from the legitimate brand The Million Roses. This is a sign that the email is from a dubious source and the website is fake.

It is therefore necessary to take special care when e-mails are received with links that are unknown to you, or tons of Valentine’s Day offers appear and are advertised.

Omer Dembinsky, Data Group Manager at Check Point , explains: “Cyber criminals are targeting Valentine’s Day customers in particular this year.

Omer Dembinsky, Data Group Manager at Check Point

We saw a 152 percent increase in domain registrations around Valentine’s Day in January, with a large proportion of these domains either malicious or suspicious. Cybercriminals are trying to take advantage of the moment. Their goal is to entice customers to make supposed purchases on their websites. In reality, it is a bait to steal personal data, which can lead to a whole range of problems for the victims. Credit card fraud and identity theft are possible examples of what hackers are capable of in the Valentine’s Day season. To avoid these pitfalls, I strongly recommend that Valentine’s Day shoppers on the internet be suspicious of emails about the alleged reset of passwords – if they were not requested themselves – to beware of offers that are too good to be true, and to pay attention to spelling and grammar errors in the emails or on the web pages or in the URL. Every single point, or a combination of several, is a warning signal and should indicate that you have fallen into the trap of an Internet criminal.“

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