Cyber attacks in Bahrain have sky-rocketed, say experts
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Cyber attacks targeting Bahrainis have rocketed up in the second quarter of this year by a concerning 188%, says a new report, especially by targeting people with vacation opportunities abroad, as pandemic-induced restrictions eased.
While the vacation season is high, scammers are trying to lure travellers looking for ’interesting’ places to go, cheap places to stay and reasonably priced flights, the report warns. The attacks related to data loss threats – phishing and scam/ social engineering – compare to records from a year-ago quarter, says the latest analysis by Kaspersky.
Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity and digital privacy company founded in 1997, says they recorded 735,244 phishing attacks in Bahrain in Q2. Kaspersky said its researchers have observed intensified scamming activities, with numerous phishing pages distributed under the guise of airline and booking services.
The number of attempts to open phishing pages related to booking and airline services in the first half of 2022 was 4,311 in the META (Middle East, Turkey and Africa) region.
“Planning a vacation is not easy. People can spend weeks, even months, looking for the perfect place to stay and the tickets to get them there. Fraudsters use this to lure users that have grown tired of searching for great deals,” comments Mikhail Sytnik, a security expert at Kaspersky.
“After two years of flight restrictions imposed by the pandemic, travelling is back. But so are travel scams – with intensified scamming activity targeting users through fake booking and rental services.
“Such attacks are preventable, which is why we urge users to be sceptical about overly generous offers. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is,” adds Sytnik.
Kaspersky Lab is a Russian multinational cybersecurity and anti-virus provider headquartered in Moscow, Russia, and operated by a holding company in the United Kingdom. Common traps The cybersecurity service provider points out that social engineering, sometimes called “human hacking” scams, is used to trick people into entering personal information, including bank account passwords, payment card details, or login details for social media accounts.
“In the wrong hands, this opens doors to various malicious operations, such as money theft or corporate networks being compromised,” Kaspersky says. The report also points out phishing as a “strong” attack method done on a large scale.
Attackers send massive waves of emails under the name of legitimate institutions and promote fake pages while deploying a variety of tricks to bypass email blockings. A common technique is HTML attachments with partially or fully obfuscated code.
HTML files allow attackers to use scripts and obfuscate malicious content to make it harder to detect and send phishing pages as attachments instead of links.