Digital Forensics Dispatch

Digital Forensics Blog
by Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Swindlers Steal Nearly 58 Million Pounds in 2021 using RAT

April 14, 2022

Phil Muncaster, of Infosecurity Magazine, recently released an article about scammers who deceived online victims into giving them control of their PC’s in the UK. The scammers gained control of the victims’ computers via remote access tools (RAT).

The attacks normally start with the victims being bombarded with numerous amounts of pop-ups on their screens, declaring that there was a problem with their computer. A message then appeared on screen requesting the victims to call a “hotline” number which was really connected to the scammers, who then convinced the users to download a remote access tool.

Once the scammers use remote access tools to gain control over the victims’ computers, it’s downhill from there. Some scammers even convince users that they work for their bank and claim they need access to their financials to cancel a fraudulent transaction.

In 2021, about 20,144 individuals fell victim to these types of attacks. Per incident, roughly an average of 2,800 Pounds were stolen. In 2021 alone, the total reported losses added up to around 57.8 million Pounds.

In one situation, a victim lost more than 20,000 Pounds after a scammer pretended to be a Sky employee who persuaded them to download remote access tools because there was a “problem with their TV.” In doing this, the victim enabled the scammer to access their bank account.

The Detective Chief Inspector of the City of London Police, Craig Mullish stated, “While remote access tools are safe when used legitimately, we want the public to be aware that they can be misused by criminals to perpetrate fraud. We often see criminals posing as legitimate businesses in order to trick people into handing over control of their computer or smartphone.”

In any case, no legitimate company is going to request access to your banking information. That is an enormous red flag that people should be looking out for. If you are unsure about a suspicious message you received from any company, it is always a good idea to reach out to that company to see if they send messages of that kind.

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Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology