We cannot escape our increasing reliance on social media in our personal and professional lives. But it is crucial to know that the accessibility of social media platforms has made it one of the fastest-growing attack surfaces, with consumers losing $770 million to fraud already.
While social media is fun, it may unknowingly expose themselves and their workplace to online fraud, phishing, ransomware assaults, and other forms of cybercrime. Did you know that 84% of users utilize social networking apps, and 77% reuse passwords? This makes everyone an easy target for fraud.
The drawbacks of oversharing
On social media, we disclose almost every part of our lives. As a result, learning about you from your hobbies, family members, and geotagged location check-ins is getting increasingly simple. Even if you do not engage or are incredibly cautious, others can tag you in posts, making it nearly hard to avoid. Holidays, birthdays, conferences, and even your LinkedIn job title can all enable hostile actors to gain access to vital information before launching an attack.
Although insurance companies do not monitor social media posts, they are beginning to advise policyholders to be cautious about what they publish online. As a result, insurers may take a different approach to victims who have been guilty of oversharing, and users may be prompted to reevaluate their relationship with big tech. The emergence of synthetic ID fraud (SIF), in which attackers mix a user’s social media profiles with exposed personal data to create a so-called Frankenstein identity, is also causing alarm.
Do not fall victim to LinkedIn phishing
An attacker can quickly explore all employees on LinkedIn if they want to target a company. They can then look at an employee’s other social networking pages with a few more searches to better understand who they are and determine their interests or passions in life. Finally, a brief visit to the company website reveals the email domain, allowing the attacker to send a spear-phishing email tailored to the target’s interests.
In the case of a business network, an attacker could take advantage of a public post on LinkedIn from a CEO who has just checked in to an overseas conference to send a counterfeit email to a finance manager requesting approval for an urgent invoice. Attackers can easily imitate a business brand with enough information to deceive people into sending money or disclosing their login credentials.
In a corporate setting, a seemingly legitimate LinkedIn post could be used to lend credence to phishing emails or even phone conversations in which fraudsters attempt to perform money transfers and nearly any other type of account fraud.
The expanding attack surface on the internet
In the coming months, security and privacy concerns about social media activities will continue to dominate discussions. Scammers can exploit freely available information online to carry out social engineering, phishing, brand impersonation, and data theft attacks in various methods. However, as the gravity of these attacks becomes clearer, many people ask who is to blame when cyberattacks result in deaths.
Despite the spike in high-profile hacks and countless warnings, it is not difficult to spot groups of people huddled over their cellphones, all using the same applications and repeating their passwords across ever-expanding social networks. Social media, unsurprisingly, has become the fastest-growing assault surface.