December 22, 2015. Today, threats to companies come from all angles. They can come from anywhere, from phishing emails to fake social media accounts. These phony profiles are particularly dangerous, as they can be used for scamming, fraud, and ransoming.
Fake social media accounts are some of the easiest ways for hackers to break into a company, because most employees are on at least one outlet, like Twitter or Instagram. Hackers can create fake accounts of the employees’ boss or higher individuals, and use them to send suspicious messages to employees, usually with phishing links that can and will compromise the person’s computer if the unsuspecting recipient clicks on it. Using the infected machine, the hacker can then break into the employee’s company’s network, and steal valuable PII and data from it, and then either sold on the Darkweb, or held for ransom. This kind of fraud is just one example of the many ways fake social media accounts can compromise and endanger companies.
These threats are not theoretical. They occur on an alarmingly regular basis. For example, on November 24, 2015, it was reported in an article about fake social media accounts of the US ambassador to Qatar, Dana Shell Smith. Duplicates of her account were being used for scamming purposes. And while the situation cooled down soon, it shows that not even the politicians, with their secure systems, are immune to fraud via fake accounts.
We live in a world where everything, from paying bills to communication to work, is online and connected to the Internet. The threats are there, and so are the solutions. Next week, we will look at the different ways you can combat fake social media accounts. Until, keep safe, and don’t click on suspicious links.