F‑Alert December: discover the latest consumer threats today

In the December edition of our F‑Alert report we review the security implications of AI tools like ChatGPT, we chart the rise of dark web marketplaces, and we reveal a new TikTok exploit.

In this year-ending edition of F‑Alert, we review the latest cyber security threats and data breaches from December. Discover how cyber criminals see new Artificial Intelligence tools. Find out why our data is worth billions on dark web market­places. And learn how the month's biggest breaches might affect you and your data. Here’s a selection of the high­lights from December’s F‑Alert report.

New bot previews AI risks

More than a million people have already sampled the power of a computer delivering intelligent, crafted human-like text at incredible speeds thanks to a new chatbot released in early December by the research laboratory OpenAI. Laura Kankaala, F‑Secure’s Threat Intelligence Lead, discusses whether it could be employed by cyber criminals is attracting more interest.

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Dark web service hides infostealers

A new cyber crime campaign, identified as Zombinder, attaches malware to legitimate Android apps, installing a malicious payload on victims’ devices or PCs. According to reports, security analysts found the platform on the darknet during investigations into a campaign promoting different types of malware that focused on free offers to lure people in. And the temptation of free stuff is irresistible for many internet users, according to Amit Tambe, a researcher at F-Secure.

Dark web marketplaces are thriving

New research has found that dark web marketplaces raked in more than $140 million in just eight months, selling stolen data across a highly connected eco­system. The study out­lines the supply chain that keeps dark web market­places stocked with an abundance of personally identifiable information. And according to Joel Latto, F‑Secure Threat Advisor, revenue of the top dark web market­places is comparable to those from midsize American companies.

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Scammers exploit TikTok trend

TikTok users were tricked into installing malware by the false promise of a tool that would reveal nude bodies blurred for the app’s popular invisible challenge. TikTok users participate in this challenge, which began in April 2020, by filming them­selves undressed and applying a filter that blends their silhouettes into a neutral back­ground for an invisible effect. And the initial lure was a TikTok post promising filter removal. Yik Han, a researcher at F‑Secure, said cyber criminals have weaponized users’ curiosity to create a multi-layer social engineering scam.

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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.