F‑Alert January: discover the latest consumer threats today

F‑Alert January: discover the latest consumer threats today

In the January edition of our F‑Alert report we review Twitter’s massive data breach, show­case the issue of scammers targeting Instagram users, and reveal how criminals are hijacking Google’s search results.

In this January edition of F‑Alert you can find out how you might be affected by the massive Twitter data leak that affected around 200 million users. We reveal how scammers exploit Instagram’s mysterious account recovery system. And you can discover how criminals have hijacked Google’s search results. Read the highlights below, and download the full report to get insight from F‑Secure’s experts.

Majority of Twitter users exposed

Reports suggest that a now-patched vulnerability in Twitter’s API (application programming interface) during 2021 made it possible to collect email addresses, phone numbers, and usernames from just over half of the site’s users (around 400m). Joel Latto, F‑Secure Threat Advisor, reviews the news, and reveals whether affected users need to be concerned.

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Scammers exploit Instagram influencers

It can be an uphill struggle for the legitimate owner of a locked Instagram account to reclaim it, and with as many as 50 million people across all social platforms claiming to be “influencers”, this has led some people to seek help from scammers. Laura Kankaala, F‑Secure’s Threat Intelligence Lead, provides some advice in this month’s edition.

Google Ads hijacked

Users searching for soft­ware packages on Google have been served ads that lead to a “malware cocktail”. And this new threat combines search engine poisoning with typo­squatting—a trick that uses misspellings of popular sites to steal web traffic—to exploit Google’s ad platform. Yik Han, a researcher at F‑Secure, advises that users should be vigilant and check URLs when being directed to sites.

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Leaked code spikes infections

Since the code behind SpyNote was released in October of 2022, the spyware has infected more devices and evolved to threaten bank accounts. And several variants of Spynote have spread widely after the author of the threat leaked the source code for this Android malware. In our latest edition of F‑Alert, Amit Tambe, a researcher at F‑Secure, provides tips on avoiding infection.

Get all these stories and high­lights in January’s F‑Alert

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Our monthly F‑Alert threat reports guide you through the biggest cyber security stories as they develop around the world. Delivering what matters most when it comes to protecting your data and devices.

Every month F‑Alert tells you what’s happening in cyber security. Even more importantly, we tell you why it’s happening. And our experts provide simple advice to help secure your digital moments.