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Cybersecurity: NCC-CSIRT offers countermeasures against Website scams on Microsoft Edge Browser

Microsoft Edge Web Browser Photo: PCMag

*The Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team alerts   users of the browser to practise safe Internet browsing habits and refrain from clicking on strange links to prevent malicious cyberattack with high potential to damage systems

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As part of the telecoms sector regulator’s consumer protection initiatives, the Nigerian Communications Commission’s Computer Security Incident Response Team (NCC-CSIRT), again, has issued an advisory for users to install trusted, up-to-date anti-virus software with an Internet security component and to customise News Feed in Microsoft Edge Browser.

ConsumerConnect reports Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, Tuesday, September 27, 2022, stated this step is part of the countermeasures to lessen the “chances of falling for a malicious attack” that has been discovered in the said browser.

The NCC-CSIRT also urged users of the browser to practise safe Internet browsing habits and refrain from clicking on links they are unsure of in the face of the malicious attack that has been rated as high in probability and potential damage to systems.

The malicious advertising campaign, unearthed on the Microsoft Edge Browser News Feed, redirects victims to fraudulent tech support websites and that cybercriminals have resorted to posting bizarre, attention-grabbing stories or advertisements on the Edge news feed to entice users to click on them, noted the advisory.

ConsumerConnect reports Microsoft Edge is a cross-platform web browser created and developed by Microsoft.

The browser  was first bundled with Windows 10 and Xbox One in 2015, and later released for other platforms: Android and iOS in 2017, macOS and older Windows versions in 2019, and Linux in 2020.

The Commission further stated though the malicious advertisements  appeared legitimate, they contain malware and/or other threats.

According to the advisory, “the Microsoft Edge News Feed is the default page that appears when a new tab is opened, and it displays information such as news, advertisements, weather, and traffic updates.

“Also, the following are the steps that result in being redirected to a bogus tech support page: The user clicks on a story or advertisement, the Edge browser setting is analysed for various metrics.”

The NCC-CSIRT also said in view of the aforementioned metrics and prior results, the advisory noted “if the user is adjudged to be a bot or in a location that is not of interest, the user is redirected to a harmless dummy page that is relevant to the story or advertisement initially clicked on;

“However, if the user is adjudged a potential victim, then, the user is redirected to a tech support scam Website for further exploitation.”

It stated the victims of the tech support Website scam could have their Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and other data harvested or they could be with malware.

The NCC, therefore, urged telecoms consumers and other stakeholders in the Nigerian ecosystem to install up-to-date AntiVirus software.

They are also advised to be alert to the tricks of cybercriminals in order not to fall victim to cyber-scams.

The CSIRT is the telecoms sector’s cybersecurity incidence centre set up by the NCC to focus on incidents in the telecoms sector, and as they may affect telecoms consumers and Nigerians at large.

The NCC says the Centre also works collaboratively with the Nigeria Computer Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), established by the Federal Government to reduce the volume of future computer risk incidents by preparing, protecting, and securing Nigerian cyberspace to forestall attacks, and problems or related events.

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