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

“Key milestones achieved in Assam”

In an interview with Governance Now, Anil Kumar Jha, special DGP, CID, Assam, who is also nodal officer for the CCTNS project, speaks of what the system in its present form has helped his state achieve. What is the current status of CCTNS in Assam and its outcome?

Crime tracking project: Bugged from the beginning

A stand-off between the ministry of home affairs (MHA) and software development firm Wipro seems to have long held up the Rs 2,000 crore crime and criminal tracking network and systems (CCTNS) project, conceptualised ten years ago. The project aims to digitise and connect all police stations in the country

Activists question displacement and dispossession of marginalised communities

Questioning the development model pushed ahead for profit oriented growth, social and political activists, academicians, financial analysts and civil society organisations are holding a three day confluence of Peoples’ Convention on Infrastructure Financing in Mumbai.     &nb

The enemy within

About one-fourth of India’s elderly face abuse at the hands of those they trust the most – the son (52%)  followed  by the daughter in law (34%),spouse/partner (14%), daughter(6%)  grandchild (6%), son in law(3%), parent(1%) and care giver(1%), reveals a report by the HelpAge Ind

Who has been investing in India through Mauritius?

The official statistics provided by the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) under the ministry of commerce and industry shows that between January 2000 and December 2017, India received $368 billion of foreign direct investment (FDI). It also says that Mauritius was the source of $125 bill

The neighbour and the valley

The declaration communicated through the director general of military operations (DGMO) of Pakistan and India on May 29, 2018, to implement the ceasefire agreement of 2003 between the two countries in “letter and  spirit” has opened up an opportunity to restore peace in the disturbed Kashm

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter