The Latest Web Scam and Wifi Jammers

The Latest Web Scam and Wifi Jammers

We’ve had several news stories this week relating to web crime and punishment, beyond the saturated topic of Donald Trump and the alleged Russian cyber breach of the US government. We’ve compiled an overview of the two biggest stories, the latest browser scam you need to be prepared for and wifi jammers as a potential new punishment technique.

Autofill web browser scam

It has been revealed this week that web users should err on the side of caution as Finnish web developer and hacker Viljami Kuosmanen discovered that several web browsers’ autofill systems can be tricked into giving away personal information without the user’s knowledge. The systems that are currently known to be susceptible include Chrome, Safari and Opera, as well as plugins such as LastPass. Firefox is not affected by this as at present, as its autofill system is in development but not available to the wider public.

The scam works by making autofill boxes invisible on a web page. When a user chooses to autofill something innocuous, such as an email address, the web page pulls in more sensitive details such as credit card details.

The aforementioned discoverer of this scam has set up a website that replicates the trick by asking for your name and email. Once you click submit the site then shows you your address and phone number.

Whilst incredibly simple, this is also an highly effective trick. In order to protect yourself against such attacks, you should avoid storing your card information in your autofill tools, that way, even if a site contains this malicious code, it can not retrieve your data.

Wifi Jammers

In the news this week, the president of the Police Superintendents Association of England and Wales, Ch Supt Gavin Thomas suggested that wifi jammers worn by cyber criminals (much like ankle tags) could be a solution to the growing epidemic.

This is a controversial subject and not something that is likely to take effect any time soon, primarily as they are illegal due to the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006. Secondly, wearing a jammer would affect those in the immediate vicinity as well. Imagine going to work in a coffee shop and all of a sudden the wifi ceases to work because a cyber offender is sat at the table next to you. Lastly, whilst the world is going wireless, we’re far from done with wires, so there are plenty of opportunities and locations where offenders could circumnavigate the wireless jammer.

Jessica Barker of cyber.uk agreed, “Children who are blocked access are more likely to engage in risky behaviour because they will find another way to access the internet that is unsupervised”.

There are a number of stumbling blocks to putting this in place and it’s likely to be an ineffective deterrent. This is without considering that people required to wear one of these are also capable of hacking and beating systems and are likely to enjoy the challenge.

Stephen Collins