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Users on Alert as Text Scamming Attack on The Rise

the attacks try to lure victims into providing information and user access

The fear of scam messages may seem far now, and even distant.  With the rise of well-engineered and sophisticated attacks in recent time,  the threat of scam messaging attacks may seem low, however, they are still a persistent danger. SMS (short message service) scams are similar to email phishing attacks, they work through social engineering attacks. Popular as "Smishing" (SMS and phishing), the attacks try to lure victims into providing information and user access, which benefits the hacker.  

Present SMS hacking techniques 
The SMS scam warns users of a new, packaging delivery, which is considered to be better and effective than before. If the user replies, the hacker steals user data for money theft, identity theft, or stealing sensitive organization data.  In one particular attack, the message leads the victim to a website and then rewards with a small gift (a smartphone, for instance) in return, for filling a survey. The attackers ask for credit card credentials for shipping and then steals the money.  Similarly, another SMS scam variant uses fake bank messages for its attack. The hacker lures the victim to give away their banking credentials, and if the victim does so, the attacker uses Emotet malware to infect their devices.  Whereas in some scams, the victim is threatened with violence if he doesn't pay the ransom. The approaches in all these attacks may be different, but they all share a common goal, which is to gain access to personal information. In all these attacks, the victim is asked to open a link or go to a website, the hackers use these malicious links and websites to steal user data.  Some other scam campaigns use relief funds, food aids, bank, covid-19, or jury duty to fool the victim. It is quite difficult to grasp the content of these attacks, however, in the future, these attacks would be even more sophisticated and dangerous, with brand new content.   

Why these attacks are successful. 
Scammers are constantly striving to attack smartphone users, which is a part of a larger threat campaign series. The hackers here have the upper hand, first, they always come up with new techniques to attack users, secondly, in most of cases, victims are not even aware of these attacks. About social engineering, the initial stage is misdirection, where the user is excited and they become assured about whatever texts they receive.  For example, "you've got a text but there's a problem with your credit card."  A different variant of this theme delves into people's likes or interests to get their attention.  An attacker might use an emotional text to trigger user action.  This is why people often receive scam texts which have- Fire! Politics! Lottery! Crime! Hackers use these event references to trigger user action and make them click on a link, or open a website.  

How to protect yourself from scams.  
It is crucial for users to know how to stay safe from these scams and attacks. Application security, mobile data protection, and mobile phone security are the key components here.  Here's what a user can do: 

1. Avoid responding to suspicious messages, especially texts that ask you to click a link. Contact the source to confirm whether the information is authentic.  You may get a text from the delivery service, asking you to click the link to confirm, visit the website instead.  

2. Do not get tricked by messages or brands that seem to be genuine. Fake branding is one of the most common ways of fooling users.  

3. If possible, always report a scam text to be safe in the future. Most importantly, do not think that scamming is a threat of the past. 

In reality, these attacks are on the rise, evolving daily with new techniques. As an organization, staff must undergo training to identify and report scam texts and to be always prepared for the challenges.
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Cybersecurity

phishing

SMS