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Saturday, Apr 13, 2024

Phishing cases soar

Phishing cases soar

Phishing incidents have topped 13,000 cases as criminals use artificial intelligence to create e-mail content and malware, according to a cybersecurity watchdog.
The Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre said phishing incidents in 2022's fourth quarter totaled 13,574 - a year-on-year growth of 11 times.

It says over 80 percent of phishing websites detected were credit card sites, while 6 percent were aimed at telecoms and 5 percent at transportation.

"It is believed hackers intend to defraud users' credit card information or other personal information through the websites," the center said.

A common phishing method is to send shortened URL links of phishing websites through phone messages or third-party instant messaging apps.

Since most messaging apps allow senders to set a name, hackers can disguise themselves as a legitimate brand. In addition to using a similar domain name and a URL link with legitimate websites, hackers replicate parts of legitimate websites.

Hackers also create fake accounts on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram with fake promotions attached with links to phishing sites.

The center reminded people not to click on links or attachments from an unknown sender, to check spelling and grammatical errors in URLs, and not provide sensitive information if a website does not use hypertext transfer protocol secure for encryption.

The watchdog said criminals also use ChatGPT to create phishing e-mails and write malware.

The artificial intelligence ChatBot, which allows users to ask questions in the format of a person-to-person dialogue and then output accurate responses with detailed explanations, has attracted more than 100 million active users.

Although the system developer has added a security mechanism against malicious content, criminals have developed evasion methods.

The watchdog predicted in a security briefing last month that attacks utilizing AI will be among major security risks this year, involving data privacy, misleading information, biases and discriminatory elements and copyright issues.

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