Irish Netflix users being targeted by new wave of phishing scams

20 Apr 2016

Irish Netflix users are being warned that a new wave of phishing scams are being targeted at them, with emails purporting to be from Netflix asking them to update their account details.

Phishing scams – which pretend to be a trusted service asking you to click on a link for an important reason, but take you to some form of malware – are not new to Irish Netflix users, but this new wave is following an increasing pattern of ransomware attacks.

According to Urban Schrott from cybersecurity firm Eset, this latest wave of phishing attempts is likely part of the increasing number of ‘ransomware’ attacks, which encourage the target to click a link that, when activated, will give a hacker the ability to hold your information to ransom.

Over 300,000 Irish users

Netflix scam

How the Netflix phishing scam appears. Image via Eset

Only after you have handed over a substantial sum of money, typically demanded in the form of the cryptocurrency bitcoin to prevent traceability, can you hope the hacker will give you back access to your device.

In this case, spam emails are arriving in Irish email inboxes and asking users to “update their payment method” by logging into their Netflix account.

By analysing the link, Eset said that the email address appears to be of Norwegian origin, but when taking a closer look it becomes clear that the malicious link in it directs to a Ukrainian web address.

Like all phishing scams, the hope is that out of the estimated 300,000 Netflix users in Ireland, a small but significant percentage of them would not be aware it is a malicious email.

Netflix has advised any its users who receive an email purporting to be from it to email the company at the address,

Person handing money to fake Netflix image via ibreakstock/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic