April 2021
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Kerala News
Election themed Cyber attack targets Kerala Voters
Thiruvananthapuram: In the light of the upcoming Assembly Elections 2021, election themed attacks targeting voters have become an increasing phenomenon in Kerala. This themed phishing attack controls the user''s phone and steals their data, when the user clicks on the link. These clickbaits are being circulated through Whatsapp and Facebook and entices the public with exciting offers once they have participated in the online poll. "Will the present government continue their reign?'' and ''Will Pinarayi Vijayan become the Chief Minister again?'' are few of the questions included in the poll. With names of renowned politicians like Pinarayi Vijayan, Oommen Chandy and E Sreedharan being used in the polls, these clickbait links are being circulated among various Whatsapp groups, Facebook groups and pages.

With the constant effort of party members to bring their candidates and party into limelight, there is a rise in such fraudulent links and are being circulated along with polls done by LLP and agencies. http://voting2021.todayoffers.xyz/ http://voting2021.mallutech.xyz are the links being used for these attacks, both of which uses the same IP address in Singapore. These findings were derived by Technisanct, a cyber-security startup, who did a study on election related polls. It was observed by the team that many such polls stole data and was from the same IP address. These links are being circulated during festival seasons such as Onam, Vishu, and Christmas with festive wishes and details pertaining to the festival.

But this is the first time Election themed phishing links are being spread to the public, says Technicanct. The clickbait also prompts the participant to share the link to another 5-10 people via Whatsapp to win prizes. This leads to faster spread in these phishing scams. Video creation app site links, advertising links, virus scan links are different ways the hackers can get the user''s location, IP Address, applications used including full control of the device. With small marketing companies to big corporates willing to pay any price for user data, hackers are motivated to do more cyber-attacks.

The information received from the study conducted has been handed over to Kerala Police Cyber dome by Technisanct. They also remind the public to beware of such scams.

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