NortonLifeLock’s global research team, Norton Labs, today published its quarterly Consumer Cyber Safety Pulse Report, detailing the top consumer cybersecurity insights and takeaways from April through June 2022.

Leveraging the company’s global cyberthreat telemetry, the analysis includes new findings on how cybercriminals are using social media phishing attacks to steal people’s private information.

Norton Labs analysed a full year of phishing attacks on the top social media platforms, and while plenty of fake login pages designed to trick victims into inputting their login credentials were found, the diversity and complexity of lures went far beyond that one technique.

“Threat actors use social media for phishing attacks because it’s a low-effort and high-return way to target billions of people around the world,” said Darren Shou, head of technology, NortonLifeLock. “As social media is intertwined in our daily lives, it’s key to know how to spot the signs of a scam and keep a sharp eye on where requests for your information are coming from. Even better, consider strong, multi-layered security that can be on the lookout for you, too.”

Norton Lifelock

Norton Labs uncovered the top tactics cybercriminals use to get victims to reveal personal information, and while classic login phishing pages are still the most common ploy, cybercriminals are finding new ways to deceive social media users.

Tactics include account lockouts – making it seem that a victim’s account has been locked due to “copyright violations”; follower generator services – luring victims to reveal login credentials or install malware on the promise of increasing follow count; and verified badge scams – prompting users to login to obtain, or not to lose, their verified status on the platform.

Another phishing campaign tactic aims to intercept temporary codes, to break into profiles with two-factor authentication enabled. These tokens are generally tied to the victim’s device and allow the scammer to perform privileged operations, such as modifying personal details or login credentials.

Norton Lifelock

By the Numbers

From April to June 2022, Norton thwarted over 900 million threats, or around 10 million threats per day globally. In New Zealand, Norton blocked in total 4,851,389 threats, equating to an average of 53,312 blocks per day.

During that three-month period, there were:

  • 22.6 million phishing attempts globally, with 37,183 blocked in New Zealand.
  • 103.7 million file threats globally, with 275,463 blocked in New Zealand.

Globally, there were 302,000 mobile threats and 78,000 ransomware attacks.

The full Consumer Cyber Safety Pulse Report is available here, while more information and Cyber Safety guidance is available here: Norton Internet Security Center.

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