F‑Alert October: discover the latest consumer threats today

Find how criminals use QR codes. See why Google wants you to forget your pass­words. And learn why most shopping scams start with Facebook ads. All this and more in this month’s F‑Alert

In 2023, you may not even realize it when you’re online. We jump from Facebook to a streaming service to our email and rarely pause to think about how they’re all powered by the same internet. And anything that’s connected is ultimately vulnerable. In this issue we look at how criminals are exploiting the explosive growth of connected devices to commit fraud and scam us as we shop on social media. And we look at a huge new step from Google and other tech giants that will allow you to forget your pass­words while still securing all your accounts.

QR phishing goes mainstream

You probably see QR codes almost everywhere. And so do cyber criminals. That’s why they’ve weaponized this convenient, touchless technology to trick users into visiting scam sites or downloading malicious files. Joel Latto, Threat Advisor at F‑Secure, has been warning about the potential misuse of these codes for years. He explains how they work both online and off.

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Google pushes passkeys

They’re more secure than pass­words. You don’t need to remember them. And they’re 40% faster. That’s Google’s argument for why passkeys have now replaced pass­words as the default for securing accounts on the tech giant’s platform. Ash Shatrieh, F‑Secure Threat Intelligence Researcher, investigated the technology and explains why industry leaders like Google, Apple and Amazon want to end the era of the pass­word.

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How Facebook shopping scams work

If you’re going to lose money from a scam, chances are that scam will start on social media. And the odds are extremely good that the scam will involve shopping and start from a Facebook ad or promoted post. Yik Han, a researcher at F‑Secure, exposes exactly how these fraudulent bargains end up in your feed. Find out why so many shoppers around the world may be disappointed this holiday season.

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Android TV backdoors exploited

A report earlier this year found Android TV boxes from Chinese manufacturers may come installed with active malware. Now, new evidence suggests that devices from hundreds of Android models have been enlisted in a network of zombie devices to commit fraud. Mika Lehtinen, F‑Secure’s Director of Research Collaboration, reveals why owners of the affected devices likely have no idea that their TV may be compromised and up to no good.

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Get all these stories and highlights in October’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.