New Cybersecurity Threats and How to Protect Yourself: December 2017

New cybersecurity threats like phishing attacks, ransomware, and scams are always popping up. Stay up to date on the latest widespread threats and protection methods in our recurring series.


Cybersecurity threat fake delivery emails
Example of a fake delivery email - via UPS


Especially around the holidays when package deliveries become more frequent, so do scams like these. This email trick uses all the looks of a normal email from UPS, but the link inside leads to a fake website that will steal your login credentials. It is also known to hide malware.

What to do: Double check before automatically clicking on anything in delivery emails like these. Hover your mouse over the link and ensure it does indeed go to UPS's website and not a random URL. You can also go directly to their website and login manually to check your delivery status, which we always recommend.



RootsWeb by Ancestry
RootsWeb by Ancestry


A "leaky" server has exposed the passwords, user names, and email addresses of 300,000 users of the community-driven genealogy site RootsWeb. Luckily, the vast majority of compromised accounts are inactive or trial subscriptions, with about 7,000 belonging to active Ancestry customers. The company stated that there are no indications the information has been accessed by malicious third-parties at this time.

What to do: If you are an Ancestry or RootsWeb user, we recommend changing your password. As RootsWeb does not handle credit card or banking information, there is likely no need to worry about your financials. "The company is currently in the process of notifying all affected customers and is working with law enforcement on the matter. subscribers who had their information exposed will need a new password to unlock their account, according to the company. Additionally, has been taken temporarily offline to enhance its infrastructure, the company notes." (



Cybersecurity threats blog travel discount

Trend Micro has found multiple scammers offering heavily discounted flights, hotel rooms, tickets, car rentals, and even restaurant gift cards. The cyber-criminals use stolen travel points or frequent flyer miles to purchase and resell discounted travel services to unwitting consumers.

“They usually buy these flights at the last minute; by the time the airline company notices the fraudulent transaction, the buyer has already gotten off the flight,” said Trend Micro.

Many of these services are being traded on the dark web, but some have even popped up on popular travel websites. While sometimes the unsuspecting buyer is able to redeem these fraudulent deals before the companies notice, many times they are blocked and buyers forgo their money.

What to do: Avoid purchasing "too good to be true" deals, especially from websites that aren't known and trusted. Much of the responsibility lies on travel companies validating their buyers and the cards used to help crack down on stolen information.



Cybersecurity threats blog fake Paypal email
Fake Paypal email - via Gizmodo


Another round of fraudulent emails is making the rounds from scammers pretending to be Paypal. This campaign is especially prevalent around the holidays, like the delivery scam, since so many people are purchasing items online.

The email states that Paypal couldn't verify a recent transaction. They encourage you to click on a link to verify your information where your full name, address, date of birth, and mother's maiden name are requested - and promptly sent to the crooks.

Paypal warns to watch out for this saying "many scam emails tell you that your account will be in jeopardy if something critical is not updated right away".

What to do: Never click on links in these emails. Go to the site and login yourself. If something is truly wrong, it will be easy to find.


Check markIf you need some extra help identifying or protecting against any of these or other cybersecurity threats, let us know!

How to Protect and Control Your Online Identity

Tags: Scam, Malware, Security, Internet

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