“Smishing”: Increasing Threats to Business Owners Bringing Smartphone Scams | US SMEs


Have you heard about ransomware? Now you have to worry about “smishing”.

Phishing is a relatively new form of cyberattack that threatens millions of consumers and small businesses around the world. Phishing is the use of SMS or text messages instead of email messages to direct recipients to click on a phone link to exchange personal information or unknowingly download malware. It is a kind of “phishing”.

Many of my small clients and their employees have already seen these messages on their mobile phones. They are usually provided in the form of text that appears to come from banks, utilities, government agencies (such as the IRS), delivery services, or other seemingly reliable sources. Fake messages related to Covid testing and contact tracing have also contributed to this increase in activity.

These messages may ask the recipient to confirm payment information and other financial information. Alternatively, the recipient will be asked to click the link or answer the question. This type of activity also warns hackers that the phone number is reliable and active. This can allow hackers to receive malware and compromise their personal information.

How big is this? According to the FBI, in 2020, this new form of attack hurt Americans. Over $ 50 Million, And these costs are expected to rise significantly.Cyber ​​security company Proofpoint Mobile phishing attacks in North America said they increased by more than 300% in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the second quarter.British consumers 7 times increase With a smishing attack just this year.

Already, the heightened threat has attracted the attention of corporate IT executives. This is primarily because these scams are easy to carry out through the employee’s smartphone. “It’s much easier to block email phishing on corporate-owned PCs, but today’s remote workers are now using their personal devices to access corporate apps and data.” write in Phil Richards, Chief Security Officer, Security Software Company Ivanti.. “Frankly, there’s no easy way to verify the authenticity of a URL on your smartphone, so users often expect the best with just a click.”

The best way to counter these attacks is simply to be more aware. Companies such as banks and shipping services may send text messages, but rarely require customers to reply with personal information.

“A legitimate company, government agency, or organization does not request data when you send a text message or email,” said a Better Business Bureau representative. Fort Myers, Florida, TV Station.. “So they create this alert to act now, something is wrong, oh, there’s a problem with my account. People click on it. They don’t think, and They provide information when it is asked by them. “FBI Warned People don’t click links in text messages, and if you think your or your business was the target of a smishing scam ic3.gov..

If you run a small business, here is my advice: Strengthen the training of your employees.Use an external IT company or online product to test security awareness, such as: KnowBe4 When Phish Labs.. Make sure your people can recognize the suspicious message. Also, check your bank account frequently to make sure there are no unexpected activities. After all, employers need to be aware of this type of scam and rely on the common sense of their employees to avoid them.

Amanda Williams, Vice President of Payments and Remote Services at GECU, a Texas-based credit union, said: Another report.. “If it doesn’t seem right, it’s probably a scam.”

“Smishing”: Increasing Threats to Business Owners Bringing Smartphone Scams | US SMEs

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