Smart camera systems like Ring are growing in popularity for home safety. Ring is the most popular video doorbell in the United States, accounting for 40% of doorbells in use, according to Business Wire.
Cybercriminals have leveraged this growing popularity to exploit Ring in email phishing scams. Phishing is a type of online scam where criminals impersonate legitimate organizations via email, text message, advertisement or other means in order to steal sensitive information. This is usually done by including a link that looks like it is taking you to a company’s legitimate website, but is a fraudulent website. Any information that you type into the fraudulent website, which is often a login and password, gets sent directly to the scammer. Cybercriminals will also use email attachments and when you click on the attachment, malicious software is downloaded to your device or computer.
Information provided by Knowbe4.com indicates that the cybercriminals send phishing emails posing as Ring to try and steal customers’ sensitive data. Ring was not hacked nor did anything to prompt this scam. Any service could be exploited in this way.
They start this attack by sending you a phishing email with an HTML file (website link) attached. Notice the grammatical errors, which are common in scam emails.
The email looks like it’s from Ring, but is not. It instructs you to open the file to update your Ring membership.
If you click this file, you’ll be redirected to a malicious website that spoofs Ring’s login page.
This website prompts you to enter sensitive information, such as your credit card number and social security number.
If you enter your information, you’ll be redirected to Ring’s legitimate website, making the email look more real.
Follow the tips below to stay safe from similar scams:
- Never click a link or download an attachment in an email that you aren’t expecting.
- If you receive an email claiming that you need to make changes in your account, always log in to the organization’s website directly.
- Remember that this type of attack isn’t exclusive to Ring. Cybercriminals could use this technique to impersonate any type of service.
In addition to following the tips above, it's good to make sure that your smart cameras are updated to the latest software and properly secured. Get tips from the Federal Trade Commission on securing your home security smart cameras.