Saturday July 20, 2019
Home Lead Story Social Circle...

Social Circles Pose More Risks Online Than Strangers: Microsoft Study

In 2018, a new classification of perpetrators — colleagues and co-workers — accounted for nine per cent of people’s unpleasant interactions online

0
//
Microsoft,
Microsoft currently has 54 Azure Cloud regions -- more than AWS and Google combined.

While strangers pose the majority of threats online, a new study from tech giant Microsoft says people are now at more risk of being bullied, getting unwanted contact and receiving unwelcome sexual images and messages from immediate family and social circles. The study showed that more than 60 per cent of online risks were sourced from strangers and people whom respondents knew only online.

But, 28 per cent of online risks came from family and friends. The respondents who had met their abuser in real life were almost twice as likely to experience an online risk, said Jacqueline Beauchere, Microsoft Chief Online Safety Officer in a blog post. More disheartening were indications that people were targeted because of their personal characteristics, namely gender, age and physical appearance, Beauchere added.

The commonly experienced hoaxes, scams and fraud risk was led by false and misleading information. Fake news and internet hoaxes were the most common type, far outpacing fake anti-virus scams. Compared to data from 2017, negative experiences from family, friends and acquaintances were up by four per cent, seven per cent and two per cent, respectively.

Microsoft
Microsoft says people are now at more risk of being bullied, getting unwanted contact and receiving unwelcome sexual images and messages from immediate family and social circles. (Wikimedia commons)

In 2018, a new classification of perpetrators — colleagues and co-workers — accounted for nine per cent of people’s unpleasant interactions online, Beauchere said. Bullying like name-calling, purposeful embarrassment topped the behavioural category, followed by repeated unwanted contact experienced by more than four in 10 respondents.

Also Read- Samsung Unveils Data Center SSD Line-up in India

In the sexual risk category, receipt of unwelcome sexual imagery and messages dominated, with nearly four in 10 experiencing repeated attempts to start a romantic relationship. The findings are based on attitudes and perceptions of teenagers and adults in 22 countries including India, Canada, France, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and Vietnam, among others, about the online risks they face and how their interactions impact their lives. (IANS)

Next Story

Cyber Criminals Attack Nearly 10,000 Microsoft Customers

“ElectionGuard” is free and open-source and will be available through the repository GitHub as a software development kit (SDK) later this year

0
microsoft, xbox
FILE - A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 18, 2017. VOA

Microsoft has notified nearly 10,000 customers in the past year who were targeted or compromised by nation-state attacks originating from three countries — Iran, North Korea and Russia.

According to Tom Burt, Corporate Vice President for Consumer Security and Trust at Microsoft, 84 per cent of these attacks targeted its enterprise customers, and about 16 per cent targeted consumer personal email accounts.

“While many of these attacks are unrelated to the democratic process, this data demonstrates the significant extent to which nation-states continue to rely on cyber attacks as a tool to gain intelligence, influence geopolitics or achieve other objectives,” Burt said in a blog post late on Wednesday.

The company has seen extensive activity from the actors it calls Holmium and Mercury operating from Iran, Thallium operating from North Korea, and two actors operating from Russia it calls Yttrium and Strontium.

“This data has been compiled by the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center which works every day to track these global threats,” said Burt.

Since the launch of Microsoft “AccountGuard” last August, the company has uncovered attacks specifically targeting organisations that are fundamental to democracy.

“We have steadily expanded AccountGuard, our threat notification service for political campaigns, parties, and democracy-focused non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to include 26 countries across four continents.”

microsoft
FILE – Microsoft Corp. signage is seen outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington, July 3, 2014. VOA

Microsoft has made 781 notifications of nation-state attacks targeting organisations participating in AccountGuard.

This data shows that democracy-focused organisations in the US should be particularly concerned as 95 per cent of these attacks have targeted US-based organisations. Many of the democracy-focused attacks target NGOs and think tanks.

“As we head into the 2020 elections, we anticipate that we will see attacks targeting US election systems, political campaigns or NGOs that work closely with campaigns,” warned Microsoft.

Also Read: Samsung Galaxy Note May not Feature Snapdragon 855 Plus Chip

The company demonstrated the first voting system running Microsoft ElectionGuard technology at the Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado, on Wednesday.

“ElectionGuard can enable a new era of secure, verifiable voting. It is also possible to make voting more accessible for people with disabilities and more affordable for local governments while increasing security,” said Burt.

“ElectionGuard” is free and open-source and will be available through the repository GitHub as a software development kit (SDK) later this year. (IANS)