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

The three Es to end open defecation

Open defecation is an issue that plagues our country every morning between 2 am and 6 am! To get rid of this practise from Indian society, prime minister Narendra Modi on October 2, 2014 announced the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). The Swachh Bharat Mission is a spin-off from the Nirmal Bharat Abhi

Aadhaar data not leaked: UIDAI

 The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Monday said here that the Aadhaar data is fully safe and secure and there has been no data leak or breach. UIDAI said in a statement that data on government websites was placed in public domain as a measure of proactive disclosure unde

Aadhaar data not leaked: UIDAI

 The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Monday said here that the Aadhaar data is fully safe and secure and there has been no data leak or breach. UIDAI said in a statement that data on government websites was placed in public domain as a measure of proactive disclosure unde

Right of mother, child to good health, well-being non-negotiable

 The United Nations General Assembly recognized November 20, 1954 as Universal Children’s Day to promote and celebrate the rights of children. On this day in 1959, the UN adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and in 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child. While the day is c

Private sector hiring may look up in next fiscal: ASSOCHAM

The hiring outlook in the private sector is expected to stay muted till beginning of fiscal 2018-19, an ASSOCHAM assessment based on its feedback from members has indicated. "The focus, right now is how to deleverage, consolidate, exit from non-core businesses and achieve a lean and me

Gujarat in the times of another Vikas

In October, during yet another of his visits to Gujarat, prime minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a curious range of projects in Vadodara: a transport hub and multi-level parking facility as well as a waste-to-energy plant of the municipal corporation. If there were no elections coming closer, it would hav



Video

Former cabinet minister priyarajan dasmunshi passes away after prolonged illness

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter