Five million people's data was stolen since 2018. NordVPN also found that hackers breached 26.6 million accounts.
Since 2018, information on 5 million account holders throughout the world was compromised. In a recent investigation conducted by NordVPN (review), researchers discovered that hackers were able to steal 26.6 million account names and passwords. This included over 650k Microsoft logins, 700k Google logins, and 600k Facebook logins.
In the bot marketplaces, an individual's digital information often sells for about $6. Moreover, experts in the cybersecurity industry worry that the proliferation of this virus would make it easier for cybercriminals to circumvent multi-factor authentication (MFA) by stealing login credentials along with cookies and device configuration data.
A hacker who gains access to a user's account may then contact individuals on their buddy list in an attempt to trick them into clicking on dangerous links or sending money. They might even troll the victim's social media account with false information.
NordVPN’s security tips
In what ways can you ensure your safety? These four pillars of security are provided by NordVPN.
Protect your digital health by never visiting questionable sites – Or using untrustworthy file-sharing programmes like BitTorrent. They're a haven for viruses and other forms of dangerous software because of how risky and unlawful they are.
Avoid keeping passwords in your browser – Since this leaves you vulnerable to viruses. Instead, use a password manager. It will provide another degree of encryption protection to your credentials.
Employ Malware Prevention Software – A malware prevention programme may obstruct web trackers, analyse files for malware, and prevent malware assaults. When used in tandem with a reliable antivirus programme, this tool provides an effective cure for infection.
Safely archive your files – A simple and effective method for protecting the confidentiality and security of your saved information is an encrypted cloud storage service ☁️.
How the AI revolution could impact online security
As criminals seek to weaponize AI, ChatGPT has become the “hottest subject” on the dark web.
Security analysts have seen an uptick in ChatGPT-related threads in underground hacking communities as hackers look for vulnerabilities in the AI chatbot.
In January and February, there was a sevenfold increase in new ChatGPT posts on the dark web (a part of the internet inaccessible via most web browsers), while the popularity of ChatGPT threads increased by 145%.
Using ChatGPT for malicious purposes has become “the dark web's hottest topic”, according to the security company NordVPN that performed the investigation.
The forums cover a wide range of topics, from hacking ChatGPT to utilising AI to generate malware to launching cyber assaults.
In a second investigation, cybersecurity firm Norton expressed concern that criminals might be attracted to the sophisticated chatbot because of its capacity to make replies that can look indistinguishable to a person.
Phishing is one possible AI-based attack method, in which victims are duped into providing sensitive information that may be used to access their online accounts.
To enable the AI to carry out such assaults, hackers have been trying to find methods around safeguards installed by OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT.
Despite the company's assertions, individuals have been able to exploit some weaknesses in the past and utilise the technology to create simple malware.
In a recent article, it was said that “Chatbots like ChatGPT” may make our lives simpler in many ways, including doing monotonous writing jobs, summarising complicated topics, and recommending a vacation plan. Yet, the innovative AI might be the missing element for cyber thieves in various schemes, according to Marijus Briedis, a cybersecurity specialist at NordVPN.
Worryingly, talks on the dark web have progressed in the past month from basic 'cheats' and workarounds – intended to inspire ChatGPT to do something amusing or surprising – to seizing entire control of the tool and weaponizing it.
During its first two months of release, ChatGPT amassed 100 million users throughout the globe, making it the app with the quickest user acquisition rate.
Even now, more than three months after its debut, interest in it is rapidly expanding. According to data analytics company Similarweb, the chatbot saw an increase in traffic of 83% in February, with an average of 45 million daily visits.
UBS analysts said in a January note that they could not remember a greater growth in a consumer internet app in their 20 years of monitoring the internet area.
TikTok took nine months after its worldwide introduction to attract a comparable viewership, whereas Instagram took almost two and a half years.
How to turn on NordVPN’s Threat Protection to improve online security
Threat Protection is a new addition to the NordVPN suite, with the intention of going above and beyond the traditional VPN's capabilities.
When activated, the function protects your app and device against various cyberattacks that the service would otherwise be unable to handle.
Vykintas Maknickas, product strategist at NordVPN, had this to say about the VPN service's basic system: “Threat Protection's foundational technology is an in-house creation of NordVPN's R&D team. The databases we use to analyse network activity for signs of malware are a good example of our reliance on external resources; they are a compilation of information from a variety of reputable corporate and public organisations.”
The new Nord programme will alert you if you happen to click on a harmful website, and it will also examine any files you download to make sure they are safe. It does a thorough check of all files on your computer, eradicating any infections it finds.
- ✅ Launch the newest version of the NordVPN app on the device of your choice.
- ✅ Go to the bottom left of your screen and click the shield symbol.
- ✅ Set the Threat Protection switch to “On”
You can't go online without having your online habits tracked by a website in some way. In the same way that a VPN may hide your IP address and encrypt your data, Threat Protection can prevent web trackers from invading your surfing session. When you combine these two programmes, you may create an impenetrable privacy barrier.
And then there are the annoying pop-up adverts that may ruin your time spent online. It's bad enough that they interrupt your reading or watching experience, but they may potentially infect your device with malware. Intrusive and potentially harmful advertisements are prevented from loading by Threat Prevention.
Protection against threats is compatible with the popular web browsers Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox. The capability, when activated in the Windows or macOS client, will function even if you are not connected to a NordVPN server. Also, the 7-day protection overview may help you assess your online habits and maintain good digital hygiene.