NETFLIX and Spotify users should be on high alert to stop hackers
stealing their personal data, experts are warning.
The popular streaming services were last year named among the 20
brands most commonly targeted by online thieves.
Login details are often then either sold on the dark web or can
even be the beginning of a series of unauthorised purchases charged to a
customer’s bank account.
But account holders have to take responsibility for their own
subscriptions to keep hackers at bay, a leading financial expert has urged.
Christo Georgiev, CEO of UK payment solutions company myPOS, said: “Many of us have at least one subscription to an online streaming service such as Netflix or Spotify.
“However, reports of customers having their accounts hacked show
that it is more important than ever to be in control of our own personal data
on the internet.
“This can sometimes be a precursor to more serious forms of data
theft as thieves test the security of your bank accounts.
“Hackers will always look for new and innovative ways to access
our personal details and we all have a part to play in keeping ourselves safe
“This can be done in a number of ways, including having strong
passwords which are kept securely, or putting daily, weekly or monthly limits
on credit and debit cards to prevent high-value fraud.
“Payment providers are regularly introducing new ways to keep your
money safe online and it is vitally important to be aware of every tool
available in the fight against fraud.”
Last year, research by cybersecurity firm DynaRisk named Netflix
and Spotify among the brands most targeted by hackers, with the likes of Xbox,
Riot Games and Sony Entertainment also on the list.
Hacked accounts can be bought online for a fraction of the regular
subscription cost and the culprits are often hard to identify due to the
anonymity and depth of the world wide web.
Users of Spotify forum community.spotify.com regularly complain about
someone else accessing their accounts, preventing them from listening to their
favourite tunes while also adding unwanted songs to playlists.
User Niziolekmonika wrote: “When I open the Spotify, there is a
warning that Spotify is playing on web player Chrome.
“I have never used Chrome to listen music from Spotify. In
addition there are added/liked a new playlists which I have never listened to
before and when I’m trying to listen to some music from my playlist it stops
after a few seconds and other music is played.”
User Jon222 added: “Somebody has hacked my account and been
listening to music – whilst I’m not that concerned about the listening, I do
worry about what else they could do.”
Security chiefs in Europe are cracking down on online fraud with
the introduction of the EU Revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2) and
Strong Customer Authentication.
The new rules will add extra layers of security to electronic
payments, including multi-factor authentication.
Mr Georgiev added: “The new PSD2 laws will undoubtedly bring
increased protection for businesses and customers.
“However, it is still important to be extremely careful with your
own personal data and how it is shared.
“Subscription merchants should inform their customers to take
greater care, while customers should always keep a close eye on their bank
statements and communication from services they subscribe to.”