Security Market Segment LS
Friday, 09 October 2015 12:21

Kaspersky says most cannot recognise a cyber-threat

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Some 74% of Internet users would download a potentially malicious file, because they lack the 'cyber-savviness' they need to spot dangers online according to Kaspersky Labs online quiz of over 18,000 users.

Out of the quizzes four music download options, only one was a safe .wma file, intentionally mispelled ‘Betles.Yesterday.wma.’ This was chosen by just a quarter (26%) of respondents, who spotted that it was a harmless file type, despite the spelling error in the file’s name.

The most dangerous file option, exe. contained the well-known ‘mp3’ term as part of its name, Beatles_Yesterday.mp3.exe,’ tricking a third (34%) of respondents into selecting it. 14% chose a scr. screensaver download, a file type which has recently been used to spread malicious material, and 26% selected the zip. option, which could have contained some dangerous files.

The inability of users to spot danger online is not limited to music. The survey found:

  • 21% users download files from a variety of online sources, increasing their risk of encountering a malicious supplier
  • 76% could not recognize a phishing webpage
  • While specifying the web pages on which they were prepared to enter their data, 58% selected fake sites

The findings follow recent consumer research from Kaspersky Lab and B2B International, which disclosed that 45% of Internet users have encountered a malware incident in the last 12 months, yet 13% of those who had been affected did not know how.

David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab says, “Consumers need to make themselves more aware of the dangers of the online world, in order to protect themselves and others. If a consumer is in a dodgy bar, they are unlikely to start counting large sums of cash, it just wouldn’t be streetwise or sensible. The same sort of instinct should come into play when consumers go online. Checking for signs of malicious activity, and knowing how to spot a phishing page or dangerous download option is vital. However, no matter how cyber-savvy a person is, it is unsafe to go online without putting security solutions in place. Cyber-criminals are constantly developing new ways to target people and only the most up to date security software can protect users against some threats.”

Opinion

I took the Kaspersky test and got 120 out of 150 – a blow to my ego as I think I am pretty IT savvy. You can still take the test and see if you pass.

Apart from the several ‘Microsoft Technical Support’ scam calls I get each day, I also get a large number of scan emails containing malware links. My good wife – who is very intelligent – came to me today and said that she had just received offers of sharing in $2.5M dollars from a nice man in Nigeria, that a lovely, sexy Russian girl wanted to meet her (no thanks), had won the lottery (that would be a first as we do not usually buy tickets) and had scam SMS messages – is nothing sacred.

All iTWire can continue to do is publish warnings like this and hope it helps some people to avoid scams. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.


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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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