IF YOU receive a suspicious text claiming to be from your bank or delivery service, think twice before opening it.
Hackers are targeting smartphones across the globe by sending out messages dressed up to look as though they’re from a trusted entity.
Clicking a link included in the text could grant the attackers access to your phone – and possibly your online banking logins.
The dodgy texts are a form of SMS phishing (smashing), a type of cyber attack that has seen a recent surge in popularity.
Phishing attacks lure victims to a website that appears to be operated by a trusted entity, such as a bank, social media platform or other service.
The website, however, is phoney with fake content designed to trick a victim into a false sense of security.
The phoney site may ask the victim to enter sensitive information, such as a password or email address.
Alternatively, it might encourage the user to download a seemingly innocuous app that installs malware onto their device.
Smishing – a portmanteau of SMS and phishing – is a version of the attack delivered by text.
To lure people into tapping the URLs, texts are usually disguised as security updates, software, or parcel delivery notices.
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According to cyber security experts at Kaspersky: “In a nutshell, like most cybercriminals, they are out to steal your personal data, which they can then use to steal money – usually yours, but sometimes also your company’s.
“Cybercriminals use two methods to steal this data. They might trick you into downloading malware that installs itself on your phone. This malware might masquerade as a legitimate app, tricking you into typing in confidential information and sending this data to the cybercriminals.
“On the other hand, the link in the smishing message might take you to a fake site where you’re asked to type sensitive personal information that the cybercriminals can use to steal your online ID.”
If you suspect you’ve been infected, you should contact your bank to check whether there has been any suspicious activity on your account.
You should also change all of your online passwords, as they may now be in the hands of hackers.
It’s recommended that you perform a factory reset of your phone to rid it of the malware.
Android users should avoid installing apps from third-party websites to protect themselves from dodgy downloads.
It’s especially important to only install apps from well-known brands, such as Adobe, from trusted locations like the Google Play Store.
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