As every year, Amazon Prime Day arrives as one of the most anticipated sales events by buyers around the world, waiting to take advantage of all the bargains and exclusive offers to improve their summer and the rest of the year. But unfortunately, Amazon is not the only one preparing these days.
According to researchers at Check Point Research, the threat intelligence division Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP), a leading global cybersecurity provider, cybercriminals take advantage of this occasion to carry out phishing attacks and other deceptive tactics with the aim of stealing personal information or financial credentials from users.
While Prime Day offers incredible savings, it’s crucial that shoppers stay alert, be careful when clicking on links or provide sensitive information, and make sure they’re browsing legitimate platforms.
While this year Amazon Prime Day will be celebrated on July 11 and 12, however, phishing campaigns related to Amazon Prime have already begun. Researchers have already detected a presence up to 16 times higher during the month of June, compared to the previous month, in addition to an increase of all Amazon-related phishing campaigns of 8% worldwide.
During this period, almost 1,500 new domains related to the term “Amazon” were registered, of which 92% turned out to be malicious or suspicious. One in 68 new domains related to “Amazon” was also related to “Amazon Prime”. About 93% of these domains were found to be at risk.
Alarms to identify a possible phishing attempt
The basic element of a phishing attack is a message, typically sent via email or other means of electronic communication both online and online, such as text messages.
Among the examples detected by Check Point Research, phishing emails have been detected that appear to be sent from “Amazon[.] co[.] UK’. In this case, cybercriminals seek to lure the victim because he clicks on a malicious link, which redirects the user to a different website than the one shown: (http://www[.] betoncire[.] es/updating/32080592480922000 – Link currently inactive).
Another of the phishing emails detected attempted to steal users’ credit information. Sent from a fake Amazon address (amazon@blackoutthelimit[.] such as), this message contained a socially engineered subject line that sought to pressure the victim to click on the malicious link (http://kolives[.] as/*profile/ – Link currently inactive).
The website redirected the user to a fraudulent Amazon checkout page that resembled the real place with minor changes (e.g., “Cvv” instead of “CVV”), seeking to trick the user into entering their information.
How to buy safely from Amazon Prime Day
To help users stay safe this year, Check Point Software shares some practical tips to ensure the safety of their online purchases:
- Beware of spelling errors: on many occasions fraudulent pages and messages have spelling errors. It is important to be alert and look for any small changes that allow us to identify these malicious contents (“Arnazon” instead of “Amazon”, or domains ending in “.co” instead of “.com”).
- Create a strong password: Once an account has been compromised, the damage can be irreparable. Therefore, it is advisable to make sure you have a unique and indecipherable password, with at least 12 characters and the combination of capital letters, numbers and symbols.
- Always look for the padlock: when buying online, it is imperative never to enter payment or personal data on a website that does not have Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption installed. To find out if the place has SSL, look for the “S” in the URL (HTTPS, instead of HTTP), or the closed padlock icon, usually to the left of the URL in the address bar.
- Share the minimum: No online retailer needs your date of birth or Social Security number to do business. Always maintaining the discipline of sharing the minimum when it comes to personal information is a basic pillar of Internet browsing.
- Review and think before you click: Social engineering techniques are designed to take advantage of human nature. Phishing attacks often use these techniques to convince their victims to ignore their possible suspicions about a message and click on a link or open an attachment, using tactics such as “flash offers”. It is important not to make impulsive clicks without first ensuring the veracity of a message.
- Beware of bargains “too good to be true”: although the offers of Prime Day itself are sometimes incredible, they always keep a certain coherence. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Distrusting this type of offers, and looking for them manually through the same Amazon platform can save us unexpected costs.