Hey everyone,

Today, I want to bring to your attention some particularly nasty tactics cybercriminals are using to target unsuspecting individuals. We’re talking about weaponized documents and QR code phishing. These attacks are becoming more sophisticated and widespread, so it’s crucial to stay informed and vigilant.

Weaponized Documents

Cybercriminals have been increasingly using weaponized documents, such as PDFs and Word files, to deliver malware. These documents often look legitimate and can be disguised as invoices, contracts, or even resumes. Here’s how they work:

  1. How It Works: You receive an email with an attached document. This email might appear to come from a trusted source or a legitimate company. Once you open the document, it exploits vulnerabilities in your software to install malware on your device.
  2. The Threat: The malware can steal sensitive information, encrypt your data for ransom, or even give attackers control over your device.
  3. How to Protect Yourself:
    • Verify the Sender: Always double-check the sender’s email address. Look for slight misspellings or unfamiliar domain names.
    • Use Antivirus Software: Ensure your antivirus software is up-to-date and running.
    • Disable Macros: Many weaponized documents rely on macros to execute malicious code. Disable macros by default and only enable them if you are certain the document is safe.
    • Be Skeptical: If you weren’t expecting the document or if something feels off, contact the sender through a different communication channel to verify.

QR Code Phishing

QR codes are everywhere these days, making them a convenient tool for cybercriminals to exploit. Here’s how QR code phishing works:

  1. How It Works: You scan a QR code with your phone, thinking it will take you to a legitimate website. Instead, it redirects you to a phishing site designed to steal your personal information or install malware on your device.
  2. The Threat: These fake sites can look incredibly convincing, tricking you into entering sensitive information such as login credentials, financial information, or other personal details.
  3. How to Protect Yourself:
    • Be Cautious: Only scan QR codes from trusted sources. Avoid scanning codes from unsolicited emails or suspicious posters.
    • Verify the URL: After scanning, check the URL before entering any information. Look for signs of a secure connection (https) and be wary of strange or misspelled URLs.
    • Use a QR Scanner with Security Features: Some QR code scanning apps can check the safety of the URL before opening it. Consider using these to add an extra layer of security.
    • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest phishing techniques and scams to recognize the signs of a phishing attempt.

Stay Safe

Cybercriminals are constantly evolving their tactics, so staying informed and cautious is your best defense. Keep reading our tips, keep your Incognito app up-to-date, and if you have any questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact me through the app. Stay safe out there! It literally is the Wild west!

All the best,
Stephen McCormack