As the global pandemic has necessitated social distancing and increased use of IT resources, a “new normal” is setting in for government agencies and businesses of all sizes.
The new playground for cyber hackers is through an organization’s social media accounts. Now is the time to find fake social media profiles and to improve your cybersecurity.
From Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, SnapChat, Instagram, and more, hackers are ready to hijack a brand, create fake accounts providing false information, and even deliver executive threats. Often, fake accounts are set up weeks or months in advance of a brand takeover. Fake social media accounts usually have a respectable number of followers and active interaction with their networks.
Given that social media accounts represent the face of an organization, now is the time to reduce the risk of a cyber attack to social media accounts. Since social media seems benign, it is an ideal place for an attack to occur. And, in addition to protecting your own organization, you want to prevent your legitimate followers from being victims of these phishing attacks under the guise that they are interacting with your brand.
Social Media Impersonators Drive Security Risk
A new pool of research digs into the fraudulent social media accounts, a growing threat to individuals and businesses.
The number of social media impersonators grew 11x between December 2014 and December 2016, a sign of a trend threatening businesses and individuals as fake accounts become easier to create.
This finding comes from new research by social media security firm ZeroFOX, which spent two years digging into impersonators using machine learning, natural language processing, image recognition, and other techniques to gauge similarities between fake and legitimate accounts.
“We were analyzing tactics and techniques, trying to understand their motives for performing different types of attacks,” says Mike Raggo, chief research scientist at ZeroFOX.
ZeroFOX gained its insight from about 40,000 brand impersonators across six platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and Youtube. Nearly 1,000 were analyzed in depth; for some, researchers talked with criminals to learn about goals and methodologies.
How do you keep your social media accounts secure?
As part of Evolver’s overall cybersecurity program, we offer social media security screening as a service. Our data scientists combine their expertise, the most current technologies, a touch of artificial intelligence, and then they scour the open, deep, and dark web looking for accounts….all accounts, even (and especially) the fake ones.
- targeted phishing attacks
- credential compromise
- data exfiltration
- brand hijacking
- executive threats