My friend Saki runs a fairly big business, and he gets people calling him and asking, “Did you just call me ?” This happens at least once a month. Phishing is not only about e-mail, but also, mobile phones. Going after a big fish, what is referred to as whaling, is a serious problem. Criminals are honing in on CEOS all across the globe. In this example, someone who knows Saki, and who has his number on their phone, gets a call from a fake Saki with some hard to hear instruction like “We need pay this vendor the following amount that we owe them.”
Spoofing an outgoing mobile phone number is a big issue.
With very little imagination you can see how scary this can be. Imagine you’re an IT engineer, and you get a call on your phone from what appears to be the head of your organization, saying something like “We have an emergency, This is urgent. Please reset the password on the firewall to abc123.” Phew!
I was watching a YouTube video recently, which showed how a lady called a bank help-desk and had a crying baby in the background, and that was enough to tip the scales and get them to cough. Apparently a crying baby puts the person on the other end of the phone line under pressure and they feel compelled to help what sounds like a desperate customer. So, if you get a call from Saki’s number and you hear a crying baby, be a bit suspicious. #justsaying
Hacking continues to get more and more creative, and more and more crazy. And this phone stuff is really terrifying. A friend of mine in Europe got hit with a phone scam last week, which I am told is starting to rear its ugly head more and more. My friend arrives for a meeting in Geneva, and his mother gets a call with someone going “Your son is in Geneva and has been detained at the airport – you need to urgently pay $1000 to help him get released.” His mother freaks!
Yes, computers on the Internet and the people who use these machines are vulnerable. But when it comes to mobile phones and some of these new scams, well, this is just a different kind of terror altogether.