It-Alert can be exploited for phishing attacks

It-Alert can be exploited for phishing attacks
It-Alert can be exploited for phishing attacks

It-Alert, The “new public warning system” used by Civil protection to alert, via mobile phones, all citizens who are in a specific geographical area “in the event of serious emergencies or imminent or ongoing disasters”, we are all getting to know it because of its acoustic impact. In this way, the competent authorities have the opportunity to warn those directly involved of any emergencies by sending them a text messageaccompanied by a very recognizable sound. At present, the system has been tested in 11 Italian regionswith further tests planned in the remaining regions in the coming weeks – tomorrow, for example, it will be the turn of Lombardy, Basilicata and Molise.

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But if on the one hand It-Alert promises to be the ideal solution for managing localized emergency situations, on the other hand it has put many cybersecurity experts on alert, worried that cyber criminals could exploit the system to spread phishing messages on a large scale. Raising such concern is Adrianus Warmenhoven, cybersecurity advisor for NordVPN, who claims that the problem lies in the fact that “many people are still not familiar with the concept of an alert message and what the message itself looks like,” which makes them ideal targets for criminals. Not knowing what It-Alert messages look like, thousands of people “they can be easily fooled by scammers and hackers via SMS”.

Precisely for this reason, it is very important that Italians know the real functioning of the system, in which “the alert is not delivered in the form of an SMS” but rather how push messagethat is, as a communication with which it is possible interact only by pressing the “Ok” button on your mobile phone screen. Inside the message users will find an official It-Alert link, which will look like this: By clicking it, they will be redirected to a questionnaire, which “does not require any personal information, except the city of residence, the brand of the smartphone and the telephone company used, information necessary to evaluate the quality of the service”.

If in recent days you happen to receive a message that “simulates” the IT-Alert communication, but without actually belonging to the official system being tested by the Civil Protection, you would do well to ignore it and notify the competent authorities, because it could be an attempted attack by malicious actors. Indeed, to be safer you could also install on your smartphone “anti-malware software, such as Threat Protection by NordVPN”, so from keep your data safe if you click on a malicious link.

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