Social media platforms add another layer of complexity to cyberattacks.

By Prayukth K V
February 25, 2021
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With increased monitoring of the Dark Web by CERT teams and cybersecurity agencies, hackers have started using social media more extensively for targeting, collaboration, ransom extraction, and other activities. Sectrio’s research team has reported multiple instances of breaches being coordinated through social media by malware developers and hackers.

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In addition to documenting multiple instances of usage of various social media platforms, the report also outlines how a new breed of enablers has emerged on the scene. These enablers are helping hackers identify targets, hack them, handle their data, and conduct ransom negotiations for monetary consideration.

The role of social media in enabling episodes of massive hacking will expand in 2021 and we are already seeing signs of reconnaissance activity tied to social media as also the appearance of malicious links that are being passed around to lure potential victims.

These are some of the findings of Sectrio’s threat research team on the use of social media for cyber-attacks:

  • Dormant accounts that have not been active in a long time and have easy to hack passwords are being hacked into to use to promote fake news and malicious malware-laden links.
  • About 31 percent of all attacks recorded by us has some links to social media
  • The recent instance of hackers taking over social accounts of celebrities indicates the level of sophistication of these hackers and their tactics.
  • Social media is also being used to generate traffic for malicious websites to improve their search engine ranking.
  • We also recorded 27 instances of dumping of stolen data on social media platforms. The data owners were immediately notified.
  • The digital footprint and social media presence of employees connected with managing power grids, ports, defense manufacturers, water treatment plants, power plants, and other elements of critical infrastructure are being monitored by hackers.

You can read more about these findings and our analysis in the report next month.

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