In a recent development, CyberSecurity Malaysia has issued a stern warning over the increasing instances of fraudulent activities carried out via compromised WhatsApp accounts. The modus operandi of these scammers involves hijacking victims' WhatsApp accounts and then impersonating them to conduct scams. The scammers then use these hijacked accounts to send fraudulent messages to the victims' contacts, leading to widespread deception and financial loss.
Unmasking the Deception
The mechanism of this fraud involves the scammers, posing as a familiar contact, sending a link to the victim. Upon clicking the link, the victim unwittingly loses access to their WhatsApp account. The fraudster then gains control of the account and uses it to deceive the contacts in the victim's network. The sophistication of such scam activities is rapidly increasing, posing a significant threat to unsuspecting users.
Increasing Sophistication of Scams
Highlighting the severity of the issue, CyberSecurity Malaysia has taken to Facebook to raise awareness about these deceptive practices. The aim is to caution users against such fraudulent activities that lead to not just personal data loss, but also substantial financial damage. The agency has urged all users to be vigilant and wary of unsuspected messages or links, even if they appear to be from known contacts.
Deepening Cyber Threat Landscape
In a related development, a recent study has found that deepfakes in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region have surged by an average of 1530% from the previous year. This rise in deepfakes poses a significant threat to cybersecurity, especially if the technology is misused. The report highlighted the top five industries most susceptible to deepfake fraud and emphasized the need for robust regulations and policy guidelines to ensure responsible technology use. In response, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) in Malaysia is reportedly planning to create a code of ethics framework for artificial intelligence (AI) next year.