Doxxing means publishing private information about someone online to harass or intimidate them. It has ruined reputations and caused untold distress to hundreds of people. On occasion, doxxing has resulted in injury or even death.
Being doxxed can have serious consequences for your safety and privacy. How can you prevent it?
Doxxing and cyberbullying often go hand in hand, although doxxing has also been used — controversially — by journalists in pursuit of public interest stories. It’s a relatively new phenomenon grown out of early internet subculture, but it’s gaining both popularity and efficacy, driven partly by social media.
Information obtained in doxxing attacks is generally gathered from public or semi-public sources: website logs, WHOIS records, social media profiles,and simple Google searches or directories. In some cases, it’s harvested by more sinister means like hacking or social engineering.
Who’s at Risk from Doxxing?
Anyone who has data online is theoretically at risk of doxxing. Often people are doxxed without warning,and without doing anything to trigger or provoke it.
In recent years, doxxing has ‘outed’ people who were understood to have committed crimes even though they were perfectly innocent. Perhaps the most tragic example is the suicide of Sunil Tripathi who was falsely accused of being involved in the Boston Marathon bombings by amateur researchers on Reddit.
Occasionally, journalists have been accused of doxxing people they’re investigating. Michael Hirsch was forced to quit as editor of Politico after sharing the home address of a white nationalist on Facebook.
If you have any kind of online profile, you’re also technically at risk.
The Real-World Risks of Doxxing
Leaking someone’s home address is, on the surface, a relatively minor example of doxxing. If this happens to you, you could wind up getting pizza deliveries you never asked for.
At the other end (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from The State of Security authored by Tripwire Guest Authors. Read the original post at: https://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/security-awareness/what-is-doxxing-and-how-can-you-avoid-it/