Cyber ​​Monday shoppers warned of ransomware attacks where scammers threaten to hurt and blackmail you

SHOPPERS hoping to land a bargain during the Black Friday online sale are being warned to stay on the lookout for scams and ransomware attacks that could extort them from thousands.

With Black Friday sale already underway With Cyber ​​Monday fast approaching, experts say the fanfare surrounding online holiday deals leaves shoppers and retailers more vulnerable to cybercriminals than anyone else. any other time of the year.

Ransomware attacks happen globally every 11 seconds


Ransomware attacks happen globally every 11 secondsCredit: Getty
Black Friday sales are predicted to increase this year due to pandemic slowdown


Black Friday sales are predicted to increase this year due to pandemic slowdownCredit: EPA

Tom Callahan, chief operations officer of PDI Software, told Digital Journal that the most serious threat comes in the form of ransomware and its variants.

Callahan notes that Ransomware, a rapidly growing type of cybercrime, happens online every 11 seconds worldwide.

“Prior to Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, consumers have been hearing about potential problems with retail and delivery supply chains,” he said.

“While there are many reasons why certain products may not be on store shelves or deliveries may be delayed, one reason we cannot ignore is cybersecurity.”


Because the retail supply chain As increasingly digital and interconnected, a cyberattack on one company can quickly affect the entire chain, he explains.

Callahan takes the example of ransomware, which is considered the most advanced type of ransomware and where hackers threaten to harm victims if they fail to meet the ransom.

Such attacks are often tailored to companies that handle sensitive data, such as those in the financial, healthcare, or educational sectors.

“If a business is breached and decides not to pay a ransom to get their data back, cybercriminals are now using that data to blackmail not only the business but its customers and partners as well. there,” Callahan said.

“As a result, the explosive radius of a cyber attack can escalate very quickly across a wide range. That has the potential to completely disrupt the retail supply chain.”

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To combat the issue, Callahan urges retailers to follow established security best practices and remain vigilant.

However, he added, businesses must also “be wary of how intertwined their supply chains are. They must be able to protect sensitive data and maintain secure access points as they interact with other businesses through the cloud.”


Similarly, for potential customers, the FBI has warned that with online shopping scams at an all-time high, vigilance is the key to make sure you stay protected.

One thing to be extremely wary of is clicking on links received from unknown senders, the Bureau said.

One of the most common scams is that hackers send what looks like a marketing email from brands you know or can shop with.

Usually, such scams involve promoting the sale of popular items, but after clicking on the link you will be redirected to the impostor’s website instead of the one you were expecting. wait.

Additionally, shoppers should be aware of fake websites posing as legitimate retailers.

While they often closely resemble the website they are impersonating, you can often tell the fake from the real one when you look closely.

The best way to do this is to look for the padlock icon to the right of your search bar, which indicates you’re on a secure site, and checks for URL matches.

Experts say that if a deal appears too good to be true and can’t be found anywhere else, it’s probably just that.

“As a rule, if a company you’ve never heard of is offering a deal you can’t find anywhere else, that’s a big red flag,” a report by the company said. writes.

“If the deal looks too good to be true, it’s most likely a scam, and you should just stay away.”

Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday

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Caroline Bleakley

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