“Netflix and Chill” has a new meaning during the pandemic–we all need to chill a bit more. With people on lockdown living through the quarantine, online entertainment is essential to our sanity.
Google searches for Netflix climbed 142% since the stay home at home order became serious.
Criminals, as usual, have exploited these trends to their advantage. A new Netflix-themed phishing campaign is in now in full swing against those who are keeping their social distance at home.
The scariest campaigns are using fake sites that appear to be Netflix sign-up pages, but are actually established to steal from those who think they’re registering for the service. According to BrandShield, 639 fraudulent domains that use the word “Netflix” have been registered. 236 of those were established during March alone. 41% of these bogus domains have a mail server, and that indicates that they’ve probably been sending phishing emails to prospective victims.
Yoav Keren, BrandShield’s CEO said, “As the world goes into lock down, cybercriminals are capitalizing on people spending more and more time online. Consumers of streaming websites are increasingly at risk of successful phishing attacks. We have seen an explosion in domain names featuring ‘Netflix’ as criminals are looking to catch consumers out and extract financial or personal records.”
One of the scams was recently carried out with WhatsApp messages that assumed a public-spirited tone, offering to help people weather the pandemic with free passes to entertainment offered by Netflix. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are giving away totally free access to our platform for the period of isolation, until the virus is contained.” All you had to do to claim your “free pass” was fill out an online questionnaire–naturally it asked for personal information–and then forward the offer to ten friends. It’s all, of course, an imposture. There is no free pass.
It’s worth noting that this particular scam is an instance of the old chain letter scheme. That’s a racket that’s particularly well-adapted to online communication. You may well be suspicious of an offer of a free pass that comes out of the blue from an account that looks vaguely legitimate but still might smell fishy. But if an email comes from a friend, you just might be inclined to look twice and maybe even take them up on the offer.
The pandemic is a stressful time, and people who are normally careful about not being taken in may find themselves with their guard down.
If you need help with cybersecurity training for your staff contact [email protected].
Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photo-of-cup-near-flat-screen-television-2726370/