Warning Issued for Brexit-related Phishing Attacks

The EU referendum that took place in the United Kingdom in 2016 has resulted Brexit phishing attacks. Brexit – the UK exit from the European Union – has inflicted major economic turmoil in the UK and a great deal of uncertainty. It is not only the UK that has been impacted. The decision of 52% of British voters to leave the EU has had an impact on markets globally.

Whenever a big news story is released, criminals seek to take advantage. Cybercriminals have been swift to take advantage of the UK EU referendum result and have initiated a wave of Brexit phishing attacks which fool people into downloading malware onto their devices.

The Brexit phishing attacks are being carried out using spam email messages. Hackers are sending out emails in the millions with subject lines mentioning the Brexit result. The emails use the uncertainty of the financial markets, the economic turmoil that has been caused and the political upheaval that has followed, to create some worry for the reader.

The emails include malicious attachments which, if opened, install malware onto the victims’ devices. Many email messages include links to malicious websites where drive-by malware downloads take place. Some of the emails offer victims guidance to keep their bank accounts and savings safe from currency fluctuations. In order to safeguard accounts, the victims must share highly sensitive information such as bank account details via scam websites.

The malware being broadcast is capable of logging keystrokes made on computers. These malicious software programs then relay sensitive information including online banking login information to the hackers, allowing them to make fraudulent transfers.

All computer users should be very wary about unexpected email messages. Opening file attachments sent from unknown individuals is dangerous and may lead to malware being loaded onto computers. Ransomware can also be downloaded. The malicious software locks files until a ransom payment is made to the hackers.

Any email that includes a link to a news story should be deleted. The story will be covered by the usual news agencies if it is authentic. Those sites should be logged onto directly through the browser or via the search engines.


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Elizabeth Hernandez

Elizabeth Hernandez is a news writer on Defensorum. Elizabeth is an experienced journalist who has worked on many publications for several years. Elizabeth writers about compliance and the related areas of IT security breaches. Elizabeth's has a focus data privacy and secure handling of personal information. Elizabeth has a postgraduate degree in journalism. Elizabeth Hernandez is the editor of HIPAAZone. https://twitter.com/ElizabethHzone