Social Media as a Newer Cybercrime Platform for Targeting Businesses

Scammers go where the people are. Today, more than half of the world’s population uses some type of social media, according to the Digital 2020: July Global Snapshot. The Pew Research Center’s Social Media Fact Sheet reports that 73% of Americans use YouTube, 69% use Facebook, and 37% use Instagram.

The 2019 Current State of Cybercrime report revealed that many cybercriminals have been relying on social media to perpetrate crimes of fraud. The rate of social media fraud attacks has increased by more than 43% from 2018 to 2019, and criminals are discovering new ways to exploit social media users.

Javelin Strategy and Research found that account takeover caused more than $3.5 billion in economic losses. This company has also found that people who are active on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are 30% more likely to be victims of fraud due to their increased exposure and information sharing.

There are various types of attacks that scammers use to infiltrate social media accounts. These attacks often breach users’ accounts through stolen authentication credentials. The information obtained from these accounts is then used to:

  • Pull personal data from the hacked accounts’ friends and colleagues
  • Steal personal information about the user
  • Steal valuable information about organizations and their competitors
  • Take over the account and pretend to be the social media user

In addition to the prevalence of social media accounts, another attractive feature of this type of scam is that the scammer has a sense of anonymity. He or she can create (Read more...)