Hackers Begin Frequently Employing New Avenue of Phishing Attacks – Social Media

Media Division | June 5, 2017

Phishing campaigns are one of the most prominent and successful forms of cyber attacks out there. Every single day, more and more individuals continue to fall for these crafted emails that are designed to trick them into following a link or downloading an attachment. The reason that hackers continue to frequently use this type of attack lies in the fact that they are easy to create and are extremely successful in fooling people. Hackers are adept at designing the emails to purport themselves as a legitimate business or individual, which makes unknowing people more likely to click on their malicious contents. While the amount of people falling for phishing attacks has begun to decrease as they are educated upon these campaigns, this has resulted in hackers developing new methods of phishing. In several incidents, it has been discovered that attackers are now frequently using social media to send these messages out.

These types of attacks have been being located throughout various social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The problem with social media is that many individuals tend to be far too trusting. When receiving a message, they are often too quick to click on links contained within. Recently, Russian hackers were able to access the computer of a Pentagon official through this method. All it took was a harmless looking message sent out by a robot Twitter account that contained a link in regard to a family summer vacation. The official’s wife had clicked on this link, which infected her computer, and was in turn then able to access the official’s computer. This is not the first time that employees of the Defense Department were targeted by phishing campaigns. This month, a Time magazine article had detailed an incident in which Russian attackers had attempted to use Twitter phishing to target 10,000 DOD employees.

The Current Dangers of Social Media Phishing

This is an attack method that is relatively unknown at this point. Most organizations tend to focus on educating their employees in regard to malicious emails but tend to neglect the possibility of social media phishing. And yet, individuals are much more likely to click on these social media links than those contained in emails. In fact, according to a report from Verizon, about 30 percent of phishing emails are opened by the recipients, whereas ZeroFOX had found that 66 percent of social media phishing messages were opened by the recipients.

The Necessity of Anti-Phishing Solutions

With the wide variance in the types and methods of phishing attacks, an organization must know how to firmly defend themselves. There are many different factors that go into proper anti-phishing solutions, with one of the most important being education of employees in regard all types of them. But, there is also a side to phishing attacks that many organizations neglect, and that is being prepared in the event of a successful attack. It is vital to have a plan of action in place to mitigate a successful attack. This way, the organization is not left scrambling with no idea of what to do or how to handle it. Then, there is also a matter of being able to trace and eliminate the source of a phishing campaign. Massive Alliance’s comprehensive anti-phishing solutions can help an organization to properly bolster themselves against attacks, as well as to mitigate successful breaches.

Massive's Media Division publishes timely news and insights based on current events, trends, and actionable cross-industry expertise.