Social media emerges as fertile ground for cyber criminals

Internet Security Threat Report by Symantec ranks India as second in social media attacks

| April 23, 2015



As net neutrality debate rages on, India has become second among nations targeted by cyber criminals through social media in 2014. The US remains at the top of vulnerable list.

According to 2015 Internet Security Threat Report by Symantec, a security solutions provider, “while email remains a significant attack vector for cybercriminals, they continue to experiment with new methods across mobile devices and social networks to reach more people with less effort.”

See full report here


India had the second highest number of social media scams globally and the highest in the Asia Pacific region. Over 80 per cent of these scams were shared manually as attackers took advantage of people’s willingness to trust content shared by friends.


Why social media?


The report says “criminals will go wherever there are people to be scammed. There are large numbers of people using well-established social media platforms, and, as such, they play host to plenty of scams. The rise in popularity of messaging and dating apps means scammers have taken note and taken advantage, and a variety of scams are being seen on these platforms.”

“The big shift in social media scams this year has been the uptick in manual sharing scams. This is where people voluntarily and unwittingly share enticing videos, stories, pictures, and offers that actually include links to malicious or affiliate sites.”


URL shortening game


Cyber criminals are also cashing on people’s fetish for sharing reading material with short URLs. “URL shortening services are popular among spammers and social networking users alike because they provide a shortened link. For spammers, they have an added benefit: they obfuscate the domain name of the spam website behind them. Additionally, by appending ‘+’ to the end of a Bitlink, spammers and their affiliates now have easy access to click-through statistics and other demographics. Short URLs are frequently seen not only in email spam but also in SMS spam and some of the newer forms of spam spread through social networks,” the report says.


What is the solution?


Symantec report says “end users should be mindful when using any social network, keeping an eye out for free offers for gadgets, gift cards, and airline tickets or for invitations from attractive women to join adult dating and webcam sites. If you are asked to fill out a survey or sign up for a service using a credit card, you are most likely being scammed. As the old adage goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

“People need to be wary of links posted by friends that seem unusually sensational and, rather than clicking on the link, should go directly to a trusted news source and search for the story there.”

Comments

 

Other News

Niti Aayog calls for ‘exams on demand’

Niti Aayog has suggested holding “exams on demand” so that school students can take the tests whenever they are ready. “Under the RTE, everyone is promoted till class VIII and are suddenly required to clear board examinations in higher grades. This leads to student stress and high

Jewar airport: Turbulence on the ground

Ranveer Singh, a 78-year-old resident of Mukeempur Shivara village in the Jewar area, knows exactly what he wants in return for giving up his land for the international airport that is being planned there: four to five times the present circle rate, Rs 20 lakh for rehabilitation, a government job for at le

Does the Indian economy now need a fiscal stimulus?

Does the Indian economy now need a fiscal stimulus?

Rise of Nirmala Sitharaman, plight of Baiga women and more from the week gone by

Today, Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s first woman full-time defence minister, may appear a picture of poise and confidence. But 11 years ago, she wasn’t even sure if she should join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has allowed her political career – and, of course, her abilities &ndas

Modi’s gift to Varanasi: Projects worth Rs 1,000 crore

On his first visit to Varanasi after the Uttar Pradesh polls, PM Modi announced and laid foundation stones of various projects on Friday and Saturday. Addressing a public meeting in Varanasi on Saturday, PM Modi took took a jibe at the opposition saying that the BJP’s programmes are no

Indian Aviation Academy unveiled

Union minister for civil aviation, P Ashok Gajapathi Raju unveiled a new campus of the Indian Aviation Academy (IAA) spread over 5.33 acres. Civil aviation, secretary, R N Choubey said India is poised to attain its coveted place on global aviation arena as one among top three largest aviatio



Video

Falahari Maharaj arrested on rape charges

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter