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photo:IANS

Hackers are targeting senior citizens and middle-aged people with
ransomware attacks while young adults are falling victim to various
scams on popular apps like Instagram and TikTok, a new global report
showed on Wednesday.

The research by cyber security company Avast
found that a majority of those aged 65 and above and the age group of
25-35 primarily use their desktop computer or laptop to go online,
leaving them susceptible to ransomware, tech support scams,
spyware/Trojans, and Botnets.

On the other hand, people between
the age group of 25-34 and 35-44 mostly use smartphones to go online (87
per cent each) followed by 18-24 year olds (85 per cent) making them
targets for adware, mobile banking Trojans, downloader and FluBot SMS
scams spreading malware, and Instagram, TikTok scams promoting adware
apps or Fleeceware.

Across all devices, younger and older
generations are also targets for phishing attacks and romance scams,
said the report, which forms part of a comprehensive global study with
YouGov into digital citizenship trends.

“Cybercriminals often
take into account how younger and older generations use different
devices to launch targeted attacks, adapting them to current cultural
and usage trends to make them more relevant and likely to hit their
mark,” said Jaya Baloo, Chief Information and Security Officer at Avast.

According
to Avast Threat Labs data, the company blocked on average over 1.46
million ransomware attacks on desktops each month in 2021.

Between January and April this year, there were 5.9 million tech support scam attack attempts globally each month.

On
mobile devices, the top threats in the last quarter (Q3) were adware
(59 per cent), mobile banking Trojans (9.7 per cent) and downloaders
(7.9 per cent), which are harmful apps that use social engineering
tactics to trick victims into installing more malicious or otherwise
unwanted apps.

“FluBot has also been spreading widely on mobile
in most countries, including India, where Avast blocked 3,500 attacks
monthly in August and September this year, out of 35,000 attacks blocked
on average globally per month in Q3,” the report noted.

The most important internet activity for 35-44 year olds is using social media (36 per cent).

For
the 55-64 year olds, it’s banking and finance activities (38 per cent),
followed by video calling with friends and family (32 per cent).

“This
shows why these generations are targeted on their smartphone with scams
on Instagram and TikTok, FluBot SMS and email phishing scams that look
like they’ve come from friends or family, and mobile banking Trojans,”
the report informed.

“Different generations may see the internet
with different eyes and have different online experiences, which is
something to keep in mind when having conversations about online safety
at home,” said Baloo. – IANS

Syndicated from the weekend leader

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