HBO has been target of hackers who for the past month have threatened to release unaired episodes of the fantasy action thriller hit Game of Thrones. The hacking started this past July when the hackers got a hold of several social media and other accounts of HBO.
They demanded a multimillion dollar ransom from HBO. The television network has refused to pay it. The hackers released a few episodes of Game of Thrones. The hackers are back saying that they are going to release the final two episodes of Game of Thrones unless the ransom is paid. And here is where you can become a victim.
There is email circulating that promises you instant access to unaired Game of Thrones episodes. The subject is, "Wanna see the Game of Thrones in advance?" A Microsoft Word document is attached to the email that holds a nasty surprise.
You might get the email and fall for it. It doesn't appear all that convincing but people are falling for it regardless. Here's what it looks like:
Open the email and you've got a RAT, or a remote access trojan. It gives the sender of the email complete control over your computer and full access to all your files. It's bad, very bad. If you get such an email or one like this, don't click the attachment and don't click any links in the email.
How to protect against phishing attacks:
- Be cautious with links - If you get an email or notification that you find suspicious, don't click on its links. It could be a phishing attack. It's always better to type a website's address directly into a browser than clicking on a link.
- Do not enable macros - You should never download PDF, Word or Excel files attached to unsolicited emails to begin with. If you do open one of these documents and it says that you need to turn on macros, close the file and delete it immediately.
- Watch for typos - Phishing scams are infamous for having typos. If you receive an email or notification from a reputable company, it should not contain typos. Take our phishing IQ test to see if you can spot a fake email.
- Use unique passwords - Many people use the same password for multiple websites. This is a terrible mistake. If your credentials are stolen on one site and you use the same username and/or password on others, it's simple for the cybercriminal to get into each account. Click here to find out how to create hack-proof passwords.
- Set up two-factor authentication - Two-factor authentication, also known as two-step verification, means that to log in to your account, you need two ways to prove you are who you say you are. It's like the DMV or bank asking for two forms of ID. Click here to learn how to set up two-factor authentication.
- Check your online accounts - The site Have I Been Pwned allows you to check if your email address has been compromised in a data breach.
- Have strong security software - Having strong protection on your gadgets is very important. The best defense against digital threats is strong security software.