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Beware! Don’t let smishing fraudsters catch you off guard

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Fraudulent texts from postal services are now the most common cyber sham hitting phone-users during the pandemic.

How cyber criminals are targeting you through your text messages.

Parcel and Package delivery scams in the form of text messages are one of the most common forms of “smishing”, according to new data

Smishing is a technique criminals use to target phone-users through texts that impersonate trusted organisations.

Often, these messages contain a link to a fraudulent website that looks very much like a company’s legitimate website.

Questions are then posed to prompt the victim to enter both their personal and financial information. 

Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, says cybercriminals are capitalising on the pandemic, knowing that many consumers will be ordering goods online.  

“We are urging people to always stop and think whenever you get a text message out of the blue before parting with your information or money,” Worobec says.

Cyber scammers targeting online shoppers

Data by cybersecurity company Proofpoint which was provided to the banking trade body UK Finance, says recent fraudulent cybersecurity saw millions of mobile users receive deceitful texts from postal delivery services.

The messages claimed a small payment was required from the victim to pay for an unpaid shipping fee. 

“Always avoid clicking on links in a text message in case it’s a scam and forward any suspected scam text messages to 7726, which spells SPAM, so that the criminals responsible can be brought to justice,” Worobec says. 

The data from Proofpoint also shows that within a 90-day period, 53 percent of fraudulent activity came from smishing attempts claiming to be delivery services. 

Another 23 percent of messages claimed to originate from banks and financial institutions. 

Worobec urges consumers to take advice from the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign which reminds consumers to stop, challenge and protect themselves from such behaviours.

Sarah Lyons, NCSC Deputy Director for Economy & Society, also encourages mobile-users to be extra vigilant when encountering any suspicious tech messages. 

“Scammers and cyber criminals regularly exploit well-known, trusted brands for their own personal gain, and sadly these latest findings bear that out,” Lyons says.

“These scam messages can be very hard to spot, so if you think you’ve already responded to a scam, don’t panic…there’s lots you can do to limit any harm.”

If you believe that you have encountered fraudulent cyber activity, report it to your state or country’s cybercrime security centre.

Written by Rebecca Borg

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Tech

Stylish shades with future tech and Meta products

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Meta hosted a two-day virtual event, Meta Connect 2023, on September 27-28, focusing on AI and virtual, mixed, and augmented realities.

The event featured presentations, lightning talks, and immersive experiences, giving attendees an insight into the latest advancements and innovations.

 

Unveiling Meta Quest 3 and Meta Smart Glasses

One of the highlights was the unveiling of the much-anticipated Meta Quest 3 and Meta smart glasses. Mark Zuckerberg, the Founder and CEO of Meta, along with special guests, introduced Meta Quest 3 and elucidated how Meta is pushing the boundaries of mixed reality.

Meta’s foray into smart glasses with a partnership with Ray-Ban showcased their commitment to expanding the realms of reality. The smart glasses promise hands-free communication and a seamless integration of the digital and physical worlds.\

Delving into Meta’s Technological Vision

The event delved into the technological vision of Meta with presentations like “Building the Future” by Michael Abrash, Chief Scientist at Reality Labs, and Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, CTO and Head of Reality Labs. They discussed Meta’s groundbreaking research in contextual AI, neural interfaces, and ultra-realistic codec avatars, fundamental to the future of computing.

Developer Ecosystem and AI Innovations

A significant aspect of the event was the “Developer State of the Union,” providing developers a platform to explore new tools, programs, and features across AI, VR, MR, AR, Meta Horizon Worlds, and Meta Avatars. Additionally, the event highlighted AI innovations through “AI, Llama and more” lightning talks, showcasing Meta’s recent AI developments and tools.

Immersive Experiences in Mixed Reality

On the second day, attendees had the opportunity to explore mixed reality experiences and the potential of Meta Quest 3 through a “Meta Quest and Mixed Reality” lightning talk. This session provided insights into the cutting-edge capabilities and business strategies that drive this next-generation product.

Meta Horizon Worlds: An Immersive Meta Experience

Meta Horizon Worlds, an immersive experience inspired by Meta’s Menlo Park campus, allowed participants to explore a virtual world and even experience Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote in 3D. Attendees could engage with others in Meta Horizon Worlds experiences and earn exclusive rewards.

 

 

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Tech

The surge of urban surveillance

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Major cities witness rise in surveillance measures, with increased reliance on Closed-Circuit Television systems.

In recent years, bustling metropolises such as New York, Melbourne, and London have experienced a substantial surge in the deployment of CCTV cameras. These cities are wholeheartedly embracing advanced surveillance technologies, driven by the need to enhance public safety, deter criminal activities, and monitor high-traffic areas effectively.

The proliferation of CCTV networks signifies a response to the evolving security requirements of urban environments, aiming to provide real-time monitoring and swift response capabilities.

However, this upswing in surveillance has ignited significant debates concerning privacy, civil liberties, and the potential misuse of personal data. Striking a delicate balance between security measures and individual rights has become imperative. Notably, some supermarkets in Australia have taken a proactive approach by equipping their staff with body-worn cameras to deter potential incidents of theft, abuse, or untoward behaviour within their premises.

In the realm of home security, Eufy, originally known for vacuums, has transitioned into a high-tier home security supplier. Eufy has introduced a groundbreaking security package with the remarkable ability to seamlessly track a single person across multiple cameras.

Their innovative approach enables effortless tracking of an individual as they move across various cameras within a property. This advancement promises continuous insights into movements and activities, significantly boosting safety measures and streamlining response efforts to potential security threats or incidents.

Despite these upgrades accompanying the rapid digitisation of surveillance systems, CCTV networks face a growing threat from cyber attacks. These digital security risks lay bare the vulnerabilities of these crucial surveillance infrastructures. Hackers can exploit weaknesses in the network, gaining unauthorised access to live feeds, compromising data, and potentially causing disruptions in surveillance operations.

These escalating urban surveillance statistics prompt contemplation on the delicate balance between privacy and security. While CCTV proves effective in deterring crime and enhancing public safety, concerns about privacy and civil liberties persist and are continuously raised.

It seems to be crucial thing that companies continue to navigate this landscape thoughtfully, ensuring that the advancement of surveillance technologies is paralleled with safeguards for individual rights and privacy.

 

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Tech

SAG-AFTRA members back a video game industry strike

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Game on! With clear resolve to strike a deal, union readies to recommence negotiations armed with authorisation.

In a resounding display of solidarity, members of the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) have endorsed a video game strike authorisation vote with an astonishing 98.32% voting in favour.

The SAG-AFTRA agreement which covered video game performers expired last November and has been extended on a monthly basis as the union negotiated with major video game companies.

The vote was initiated to address issues related to fair compensation, transparent contracts, and improved working conditions for video game voice actors and performers and is an extension of has been unfolding in Hollywood recently.

The resolute decision by the members empowers SAG-AFTRA to negotiate with video game production companies for better terms that adequately value the contributions of performers in this burgeoning sector. The resounding mandate highlights the urgency and importance of addressing the grievances and achieving a fair and mutually beneficial resolution.

 

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