The long night has finally ended. Game of Thrones fans can finally come in from the cold and, like a starving dragon, start devouring the latest and final season of the massively popular TV show. But unlike the fantasy series, what is far more real is the plethora of phishing scams facing enthusiasts.
While there have been many such deceptions, from malware via pirate torrent sites to phishing scams, Check Point Research recently came across the latest in this line of malicious activities bent on taking advantage of unsuspecting fans. Below is an example of such a site that uses the official branding of the show to poses as a legitimate competition for fans to win a special gift pack of GoT merchandise. There is however, no such prize and the site instead collects as many email and mobile phone details as possible that could possibly be used in future spamming campaign.
While many may claim to be able to tell the difference between a real site and a fake site, the use of well recognized and trusted brands, like Game of Thrones, is the preferred method for encouraging the user that the impersonated email or website is trustworthy.
Understanding the threat
The websites we observed using the Game of Thrones brand could be split into two main categories- Legitimate or fraudulent websites. While both categories use the popularity of the brand to lure users in, their motivation is different. The legitimate websites include fan pages, online games or small shopping sites, looking for potential customers or new community members, as seen below.
The fraudulent websites on the other hand, exploit the popularity of the brand to display ads, acquire personal information or convince the user to install an unwanted program.
These fraudulent websites mostly include sites requesting personal information for marketing opportunities, and fake streaming sites, requesting the user to download a browser add-on and provide personal information, while no streaming content is displayed at the end of the process.
How ThreatGuard Can Help
ThreatGuard is a SaaS product that scans an organization’s assets on the web and notifies them when threats such as lookalike domains, exposed accounts, detected CVEs and open risky ports are detected. In the examples provided above, to find sites exploiting the popularity of Game of Thrones, we used the lookalike domains functionality.
ThreatGuard allowed us to locate lookalike domains in a very short amount of time and focus our research on the deeper threat analysis. We initially added a ‘gameofthrones’ query into ThreatGuard and got tens of results. After expending the search to more common words related to the Game of Thrones series, such as names of characters and known quotes, we found a lot of other related domains.
ThreatGuard also allowed us to focus our research on a specific word, the severity of the domain, live domains and more. For domains that were deemed more interesting, we conducted safe browsing via the ThreatGuard solution and inspected the history of the domain. This permitted us to inspect the suspicious domains without harming our hosts and understanding more about the domain we investigated. When we found a malicious domain, we automatically asked for it to be taken down by the domain registrar.
How to Avoid Being a Phishing Victim
There are ways, of course, to prevent being the next victim of a phishing attack. These include:
- Think before you click. Clicking on links on trusted sites should be totally fine. Links that appear in random emails and instant messages, however, isn’t going to end well. Hovering over links that you are unsure of before clicking on them will tell you if they lead to where you’re expecting.
- Make sure a site’s URL begins with “https” and there is a closed lock icon near the address bar.
- Check the site’s domain name is the site you are expecting to visit and trust. If it is not then you could be about to become the next victim of a phishing scam.
- Make sure you have an advanced threat prevention solution such as Check Point’s SandBlast Agent zero-phishing protection
Dinesh Nair Appointed as Director for Consumer Business Lenovo India
Global technology leader Lenovo has appointed Dinesh Nair as Director, Consumer Business for India region. Dinesh succeeds Mr. Shailendra Katyal, who has recently been appointed Site Leader for Lenovo India and Managing Director of Lenovo’s PC and smart device business in India.
Dinesh Nair has been an integral part of the Lenovo India consumer business for more than 11 years and has worked successfully across several roles. His most recent role was as the sales & channel management lead for Lenovo’s consumer segment in India. He has handled leadership responsibilities across offline general trade retail, distribution management, field sales, eCommerce, large format retail and category management, and has been a key contributor to the company’s growth journey in India.
“During this difficult time in India, we are working hard to ensure the safety of our employees, partners and customers and I am grateful that we have excellent leaders in place to bring our team together and offer this support. I am proud to hand over the reins of the consumer business to Dinesh. At the same time, this is a demonstration of our commitment to developing talent internally. I am sure he, along with the consumer leadership team, will propel the business to new heights,” said Shailendra Katyal, Managing Director, Lenovo India.
ASUS ROG Announces ROG Masters Asia Pacific eSports Tournament
ASUS ROG will host its first ROG Masters Asia Pacific eSports tournament from March to April 2021. Due to COVID-19 pandemic affecting travel around the region, the tournament will be conducted entirely online, with quarterfinal to final matches livestreamed.
The ROG Masters tournament will feature Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) as the official game title will provide opportunity to teams with enthusiastic players to pitch their skills against each other, as well as the best professional teams from their market and in the region.
The tournament will see various teams from 15 markets across the region vying for the chance to be crowned as the first ROG Masters Asia Pacific Edition CS:GO Champion.
The tournament will be played in three stages played over the course of 2 months:
- Country qualifiers
- Country finals
- Asia Pacific finals
Country qualifiers matches for India will start in the second week of April 2021; 8th April and the finals to be held on the 10th April. The India finals to find the top three teams to represent the country will be livestreamed live on 10th April.
Professional teams from across the region will be automatically placed into seeded positions in the country finals. This gives a greater chance for non-professional, enthusiast teams from India to get through the qualifiers and meet the pro teams in the country finals.
Country Champions will then go on to experience battling winning teams from other APAC markets in the finals that will be livestreamed during 22nd to 25th April 2021.
3 qualifying teams from India finals will stand to win US$800 for first place, US$400 for second place, US$200 for third place. They will then go on to the Asia Pacific finals with the chance to win the following prizes for the championship:
|ROG Masters APAC Championship||APAC Finals (USD/ team)|
Registration and Official Tournament Website
Registration for the first ROG Masters Asia Pacific tournament opens on February 8, 2021 at the tournament’s official website.
Registration closes on February 28, 2021 Further details, match schedules, pro team information as well as rules and regulations can also be found on the tournament website.
Garena Launches Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars
Garena has announced the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars, Free Fire’s first-ever esports tournament for the South Asia region. Taking place on 6 February, the tournament will feature some of the gaming community’s favourite Free Fire streamers and personalities from India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
The Free Fire community has continued to expand in South Asia and across the world, with the mobile battle royale game the most downloaded mobile game globally in 2020, according to App Annie. Through the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars, Garena will look to continue its efforts to excite and delight its fast-growing South Asian community with exciting Free Fire content, and to support and develop the incredible online community in the region.
The Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars will feature a total of 12 teams. Each team will be led by one of the top 3 streamers from each of the 4 participating nations – chosen by public voting – in this epic clash to determine the best in the region.
The 12 teams will compete in the Battle Royale Squad mode for a slice of the 1 million diamond prize pool. The ultimate winner of this star-studded tournament will receive 500,000 in-game diamonds; the first and and second runners-up will be awarded 300,000 and 200,000 diamonds respectively.
The Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars will feature some of the most popular streamers and personalities from across South Asia.
The team captains for each nation are:
- Total Gaming (19.4 Million YT Subs)
- Desi Gamers (7.8 Million YT Subs)
- Two-Side Gamers (6.85 Million YT Subs)
- Gaming with Nayeem (1.6 Million YT Subs)
- Illusionist YT (479K YT Subs)
- Gaming With Zihad (698K YT Subs)
- Sooneeta (3.26 Million YT Subs)
- Bshow Mgr (399K YT Subs)
- Tonde Gamer (2.37 Million YT Subs)
- RKG ARMY (1.77 Million YT Subs)
- Unusual Gamer (81K YT Subs)
- The Skinzo FF (75.5K YT Subs)
Fans can witness all the high-octane action by tuning in to the live broadcasts of the Free Fire South Asia Showdown: Battle of the Stars. These will be hosted on Free Fire Esports India YouTube and Facebook, Free Fire Bangladesh Official YouTube and Facebook, as well as on BOOYAH!.
To cater to the diverse South Asian community, the matches will be streamed with live commentary in 5 languages – Bengali, English, Hindi, Nepali and Urdu.
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