Scams, phishing made up over 75% of digital threats in first half of 2023: Report

New Delhi: With the growth of Artificial Intelligence, scams, phishing and other forms of human manipulation accounted for more than 75 per cent of all digital threats in the first half of 2023 globally.

According to the consumer cyber safety brand Norton’s new report released on Thursday, cybercriminals now have added support from Artificial Intelligence (AI) in creating sophisticated scams which has led to a surge in incidents.

The report identified some of the most prominent online scams people are facing today, including — e-shop scams, sextortion scams, and tech support scams.

“Leveraging AI, criminals are creating scams that are not only more credible but alarmingly real, making them more convincing and harder to detect. Which is why it’s so important that consumers know what to be aware of,” said Luis Corrons, Security Evangelist for Norton.

Under e-shop scams, scammers create fake online stores, offering products at unbeatable prices. Once a purchase is made, the product is never delivered, and the website disappears.

In sextortion scams, cybercriminals threaten to release private or compromising information unless a ransom is paid.

These scams often begin with phishing emails and exploit human emotions like fear and shame, the report explained.

Moreover, in tech support scams, fraudsters pose as tech support agents from reputable companies. They trick victims into granting remote access to their computers, leading to data theft or ransom demands.

In the first half of 2023 (January 1 to June 30), more than 1.5 billion threats were blocked, including 117.8 million phishing attempts, 88.9 million desktop threats, 6,80,000 mobile threats, and over 2.6 billion trackers and fingerprinting attempts, the report showed.


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