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The “realistic” tricks hackers are using to steal your savings



ANZ Bank

In the realm of cybercrime, phishing stands as a nefarious and pervasive threat, defrauding savers of millions of dollars annually.

This insidious tactic, driven by social engineering, preys on human emotions and behaviors, proving alarmingly successful in coaxing personal information from unsuspecting victims.

Phishing, A Deceptive Art

Distinguished from overt monetary requests, phishing operates in a more covert manner, exploiting emotions and employing meticulously designed websites and software scripts to manipulate individuals into divulging their private details. This craft is what cybersecurity experts term “social engineering,” leveraging human psychology to orchestrate deception.

The modus operandi of phishing often begins with an email or text message that masquerades as communication from a legitimate entity, such as the Australian Tax Office or popular streaming services like Netflix.

These communications, often accompanied by a sense of urgency, compel recipients to swiftly address an issue with their account or reaffirm their contact details.

Subsequently, victims are directed to counterfeit websites, skillfully mimicking the look and feel of authentic platforms.

Crafting this facade requires phishing kits, available for purchase ranging from $10 to $1,000. These kits equip scammers with the HTML elements and scripts to create these deceptive landing pages.

Manipulation of Human Behavior

Phishing’s success hinges on manipulating human behavior through an intricate blend of urgency, emotion, and deception. Urgent demands for action, such as paying a purported tax debt or reactivating a suspended bank account, employ fear and impulsive thinking to bypass rational decision-making.

Research by Ofir Turel, professor of information systems management at the University of Melbourne, reveals that sleep deprivation, trust in the scam source, and loneliness elevate susceptibility to phishing.

However, emotional manipulation extends beyond fear. Scammers exploit positive emotions too, like enticing the success of the Matildas with fake websites peddling discounted tickets to Women’s World Cup games.

The Pervasive Impact

The prevalence of phishing in Australia continues to escalate. In 2022, Scamwatch reported 74,573 phishing-related complaints, a 4.6% increase from the previous year.

Victims often fall prey to meticulously designed emails and text messages, lured into divulging sensitive information on counterfeit websites that mimic genuine organizations. Financial losses from phishing in 2022 exceeded $157.6 million, yet this figure remains a mere fraction of the actual toll due to under-reporting.

The Complexity of Countermeasures

Fighting back against phishing poses formidable challenges. Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have endowed scammers with tools to create convincing scams with flawless grammar and code. Consequently, detecting scams through errors or typos is no longer a foolproof strategy.

Regrettably, scams are chronically under-reported.

While the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission notes that $3.1 billion was lost to scams in 2022, a mere $21 million was compensated by major banks.

Nonetheless, efforts are underway to fortify consumer protection. Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones asserts that forthcoming industry codes of practice will demand accountability and compensation from financial institutions.

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This surge comes as a welcome relief for investors who have been closely monitoring the impact of rising inflation on the financial markets.

The tech sector, including giants like Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft, has been instrumental in driving the rally. These companies have reported robust earnings and strong growth prospects, which has boosted investor confidence. As a result, the market capitalization of these tech behemoths has reached unprecedented levels, contributing significantly to the overall rise in global mega-cap stocks.

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Will the tech giants maintain their momentum and continue to lead the mega-cap surge, or are there potential risks on the horizon?

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Real reason bosses want employers back in the office



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The driving force behind this push is the sharp decline in commercial property values, which has left many businesses concerned about their real estate investments.

Commercial property values have plunged in the wake of the pandemic, with many companies downsizing or reconsidering their office space needs.

This has put pressure on employers to reevaluate their remote work policies and encourage employees to return to the office. #featured

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Retailers deploy various tactics to lure consumers, creating a win-win scenario for both shoppers and businesses.

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