Union Bank of the Philippines warned the public of a new phishing scheme amid the holidays.
In an advisory, the Aboitiz-led bank said that the online scam is tricking the public into clicking a suspicious link because of a promise of a “holiday bonus.”
“Beware of the new phishing tactic saying that you can receive a holiday bonus worth P7,000 by clicking on an email link,” UnionBank said. “We remind everyone not to click on the link.”
The bank has been disseminating information on potential online scams given that more fraudsters are taking advantage of the aggressive digital shift amid the lockdown measures because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier, it noted that there are phishing emails telling the clients that their accounts were closed for illegal activities and they need to click on a link provided to verify the email.
UnionBank also reminded the public to protect their card details when transacting online. It is best to shop only on legitimate websites and e-commerce platforms, it added.
IN a separate statement, Kaspersky Lab ZAO said that attackers will continue to exploit the Covid-19 pandemic.
“While it did not prompt changes in tactics, techniques and procedures of the threat actors, the virus has become a persistent topic of interest,” the Russian cybersecurity firm said. “As the pandemic will continue into 2021, threat actors will not stop exploiting this topic to gain a foothold in target systems.”
Kaspersky Lab cited other targeted threat predictions for 2021 include more countries using legal indictments as part of their cyber-strategy.
“Kaspersky’s previous predictions of ‘naming and shaming’ of APT [advanced persistent threat] attacks carried out by hostile parties has come true, and more organizations will follow suit,” the company said. “Exposing toolsets of APT groups carried out at the governmental level will drive more states to do the same, thereby hurting actors’ activities and developments by burning the existing toolsets of their opponents in an effort to retaliate.”
Kaspersky added it also predicts increased targeting of network appliances.
“With remote work, organizational security has become a priority, and more interest towards exploiting network appliances such as VPN [virtual private network] gateways will emerge,” Kaspersky said. “Harvesting credentials to access corporate VPNs via ‘vishing’ remote workers may also appear.”
The company said that it also predicts cyberthreats would be marked by demanding money “with menaces.”
“Changes in ransomware gangs’ strategy is leading to the consolidation of a still diverse but rather tight ransomware eco-system,” Kaspersky said. “Following the success of previous targeted attack strategies, more major ransomware players will start focusing their activities and obtaining APT-like capabilities–with the money the gangs have extorted they will be able to invest large funds into new advanced toolsets with budgets comparable to that of some of the state-sponsored APT groups.”
Kasperky noted it expects more disruptive attacks will result from a directed orchestrated attack designed to affect critical infrastructure or collateral damage—“as our lives have become even more dependent on technology with a much wider attack surface than ever before.”
The company added that as adoption of 5G technology increases and more devices become dependent on the connectivity it provides, attackers will have a greater incentive to look for vulnerabilities that they can exploit.
Measures in place
Amid the increasing phishing scams, the Aboitiz-led bank said in an earlier interview with the BusinessMirror that it is ensuring that cybersecurity measures are always in place.
“We continuously invest in strong cybersecurity technology that ensures strong customer protection,” UnionBank Chief Information Security Officer Joey Rufo said.
Rufo said that UnionBank is also employing banking industry practices, including 24/7 security operations center monitoring and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS).
PCI-DSS outlines guidelines on information security for firms handling credit cards to increase data control and avoid fraud.
The Aboitiz-led bank saw its net earnings drop by 0.9 percent to P8.5 billion in the first nine months due to higher provisions for loan losses. Revenues, meanwhile, grew by 33 percent to P31.8 billion for the period, thanks to 36-percent increase in net interest income.
As of end-September, the bank’s total assets stood at P758 billion.
UnionBank shares inched up by 0.08 percent, or 5 centavos, to close at P66.05 each amid the 0.97-percent drop for the benchmark index on Tuesday.