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Norwegians Are Now Favourite Targets of Cyber Crime: Report

Norwegians are also very high placed on the list when it comes to getting spam e-mails and "ransomeware" on mobile phones, when criminals lock mobile phones and then require ransom

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Security concept: computer keyboard with word Cyber Crime, selected focus on enter button background, 3d render

Norwegians have become one of the favourite targets of cyber crime and are easier to be cheated than Swedes and Danes, newspaper Aftenposten reported on Thursday.

Mapping of over 120 million users in 45 countries, conducted by software company Symantec, showed that the only nation that is more exposed than rich Norwegian citizens are Saudi Arabians, the report said.

Norwegians are exposed four times higher than Swedes and six times high than Danish citizens to so-called “phishing” attempts, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Norway must have been far up the list for many criminal groups last year when it is so highly exposed. I do not think Norway has been so high on the list before,” Snorre Fagerland, security analyst in Symantec, told Aftenposten.

The reason for Norway being targeted is because it is one of the richest countries in the world and criminals can earn more money if they get hold of Norwegian data, said Fagerland, who together with his colleagues analysed 2.4 billion emails daily in 45 different countries.

On the “black market”, where stolen data is purchased and sold, a stolen Norwegian credit number with personal information may be worth $45.

Cyber crime, U.S. programming
A man types on a computer keyboard in front of displayed cyber code in this illustration picture. VOA

“The criminals are primarily concerned with profitability. When they enter a country like Norway, it requires investment. They must translate texts, reconnaissance and customize the attacks,” Fagerland said.

The way the “phishing” attacks are designed shows that the computer criminals have learned to master Norwegian language.

At Symantec’s list of 45 countries, Norway comes in third place among countries with the highest proportion of malicious links in the emails.

Also Read- Apple Fell to 17th Position in The List of ’50 Most Innovative Companies’: Report

The survey showed that 12.8 per cent of the malicious e-mails contained such fake links in 2018, which is more than twice as much as, for example, Denmark.

Norwegians are also very high placed on the list when it comes to getting spam e-mails and “ransomeware” on mobile phones, when criminals lock mobile phones and then require ransom. (IANS)

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Twitter bans Russia-based Kaspersky Lab from buying ads

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Twitter
Twitter confirms third-party involvement in crypto hackings. Pixabay

Twitter has banned Russia-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab from advertising on its platform, stating that the company “operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices.”

In an open letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Kaspersky Lab’s Founder Eugene Kaspersky has termed the move as “potential political censorship”.

Twitter icon.
Twitter bans ads. Pixabay

“At the end of January, Twitter unexpectedly informed us about an advertising ban on our official accounts where we announce new posts on our various blogs on cybersecurity (including, for example, Securelist and Kaspersky Daily) and inform users about new cyberthreats and what to do about them,” Eugene wrote on Friday.

“In a short letter from an unnamed Twitter employee, we were told that our company ‘operates using a business model that inherently conflicts with acceptable Twitter Ads business practices,'” he added.

Kaspersky Lab spent around $93,000 to promote its content on Twitter in 2017 and its India advertising share on Twitter was around $13,580.

“No matter how this situation develops, we won’t be doing any more advertising on Twitter this year. “The whole of the planned Twitter advertising budget for 2018 will instead be donated to the @EFF. They do a lot to fight censorship online,” Eugene tweeted on Saturday.

According to a report in Cyberscoop, a Twitter spokesperson pointed towards the September 2017 decree from US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that ordered federal agencies to remove Kaspersky products from their networks.

Also Read: New algorithm may help locate fake Facebook and Twitter accounts

“Kaspersky Lab may remain an organic user on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Register. “Twitter is playing into the hands of cybercriminals when it hinders the delivery of important information on protection from cyberthreats,” Eugene said.

“The majority of our promoted content on Twitter has been about cybersafety and research and reports about the information security industry. We believe that this content brings value to a variety of Twitter users.”

“Twitter, if this is a matter of a decision being made in error, please openly admit this; people’d forgive you – everyone makes mistakes! I think that would be the only civilized way to quash any doubts about potential political censorship on Twitter,” Eugene said.

Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA
Fake accounts on Twitter are many. VOA

The Kaspersky Lab founder said that more than two months have passed and the only reply he received from Twitter was the copy of the same boilerplate text.

“Accordingly, I’m forced to rely on another (less subtle but nevertheless oft and loudly declared) principle of Twitter’s – speaking truth to power – to share details of the matter with interested users and to publicly ask that you, dear Twitter executives, kindly be specific as to the reasoning behind this ban,” he said. IANS