This Thursday, September 18, is the biggest day in Scottish political history, as the country votes on whether it should become independent from the United Kingdom – but an ESET security expert has warned cybercriminals could strike.
This Thursday, September 18, is the biggest day in Scottish political history, as a Scottish independence poll offers voters a chance to decide on whether the country should become independent from the United Kingdom – but an ESET security expert has warned against emails seeming to offer the results early.
Mark James, ESET security specialist, says, “Events like these always attract a lot of attention from scammers: so you should expect to see emails claiming to know the trend of the voting already.”
The Scottish independence poll is likely to be one of the most closely watched in British history, with 4,285,323 people registered to vote, accounting for 97% of Scotland’s population, according to the BBC.
British law requires that broadcasters do not report details of the campaigning until the Scottish independence poll closes at 10pm, according to the broadcaster. This “radio silence” may be a tempting target for cybercriminals, James warns.
Scottish independence poll: Magnet for criminals
“Fake emails will probably ask you to fill out a quick survey beforehand or directing you to a potentially dodgy site that may include some enticing titbits as an extra when signing up to future ‘insider information’,” James warns.
Phishing attacks on online banking have hit a high of $48 million in Britain in the first half of this year, Tech World reports.
This week, Apple fans awaiting the launch of iPhone 6 were targeted with a phishing scam offering free handsets. Cybercriminals commonly follow big news events such as the Scottish independence poll in order to target victims James warns.
“We are often are aware it’s not possible to know the information being claimed is available but will still click that link or follow that page, just in case it does actually contain information we need, – in this case up to the minute news on how Scotland is voting in the polls,” James says.
No early information will be available
He warns there may be emails, Facebook pages, Twitter links – but says that any page or communication offering information before Friday morning will be bogus.
“Let’s be 100% certain about one thing,” James says. “The only way you’re going to know the result will be watching it live sometime tomorrow morning between 6:30 and 7:30 am UK time. If you do receive any of these dodgy emails please delete the attachments immediately: DO NOT follow any links and do not fill in any web forms teasing you with information that’s just NOT available.”