Instagram, TikTok scams targeting youngsters with ransomware, bots and more: Report

Cybercriminals often take into account how younger and older generations use different devices to launch targeted attacks.

Published:Thu, November 25, 2021 5:10pm

By Karanveer Singh Arora


Hackers target millions of people every day, stealing data and money from them. Now a new report by cyber security firm Avast has reported hackers are targeting senior citizens and middle-aged people with ransomware attacks, whereas, young adults are being targeted via Instagram and TikTok scams.

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According to the report, people aged 65 and above, between 25-35 who use the internet via a PC are being targeted with ransomware, tech support scams, spyware/Trojans, and Botnets. While people between 18-44 using smartphones are being targeted with adware, mobile banking Trojans, downloader and FluBot SMS scams spreading malware, and Instagram, TikTok scams.


Across all of the devices, younger and older generations are also being targeted with phishing attacks and romance scams.

"Cybercriminals often take into account how younger and older generations use different devices to launch targeted attacks, adapting them to current cultural and usage trends to make them more relevant and likely to hit their mark," said Jaya Baloo, Chief Information and Security Officer at Avast.


The company has revealed that on average it has blocked over 1.46 million ransomware attacks on desktops each month in 2021.

The report further states that there are 5.9 million tech support scam attack attempts that take place globally each month. In Q3 2021 the top threat for mobile devices was adware (59 percent), mobile banking Trojans (9.7 percent) and downloaders (7.9 percent).

"FluBot has also been spreading widely on mobile in most countries, including India, where Avast blocked 3,500 attacks monthly in August and September this year, out of 35,000 attacks blocked on average globally per month in Q3," the company mentioned in its report.

In other news, the Joker malware recently resurfaced and was found inside of 15 Android apps available on the Google Play Store. Some of the apps infected with the malware have over 50,000 installs.

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