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Why Social Media Sites Are The New Cyber Weapons Of Choice
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Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
9/6/2016 | 7:21:33 PM
FB
A Facebook friend of mine (or, rather, his FB friends) recently fell prey (sort of) to an FB scam.

I received a FB invitation from this FB friend of mine (who is a relative).  I accepted -- thinking all the while, "Gee, I thought I was already friends with him").

Immediately, I got a FB message from him asking me how I was.  I replied appropriately.  I asked in turn.  He said he was really excited.

That's weird.  About what? I asked.

He told me he was excited about new mortgage rates or some other nonsense.

And that's when it became crystal clear that this was somebody masquerading as my relative.  Sure enough, I was -- as I had previously suspected -- already FB friends of this person (the real one).  The scammer had taken my relative's FB profile name and profile picture to masquerade as him, and then started sending invites to all of his FB friends.

Most people (all, I hope) saw right through the scam.  And it's certainly one of the more benign ones to have happen to your profile.  But still, an annoyance.

Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
9/7/2016 | 7:31:03 AM
Re: FB
That's quite a smooth one, though it seems fairly innocuous. If you restrict yourself to people you know well, rather than too large a list of extended 'friends' you're quite likely to pick up on differences in the way they speak and catch on that it's a scam: as you did in your story. 

It's bound to catch some people of course, but that's the benefit of targeted attacks: they are often far more effective. 
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
9/8/2016 | 4:15:23 PM
Re: FB
I think that if anyone messages you on Facebook for the primary purpose of telling you how excited they are about low mortgage rates and you DON'T find that weird or suspicious or unwelcome (and assuming you're not an utter fool), then either you are super weird, your FB friends are super weird, or both.
nickhayes10
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nickhayes10,
User Rank: Author
9/9/2016 | 5:29:41 PM
Re: FB
Great example, Joe! As my article probably makes it clear, these scams are occurring more and more frequently. As the over population becomes more savvy in identifying scams, cybercriminals continue to adapt and improve the scams to appear more legitimate.
nickhayes10
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nickhayes10,
User Rank: Author
9/9/2016 | 5:48:54 PM
Re: FB
Whoopty, I certainly agree with your advice that people need to scrutinize every friend request and only accept those from people they actual know, but we shouldn't underestimate how tricky this can be for some people.

Recent studies show just how trusting, and therefore, susceptible most people are to such social media scams. In fact, 43% of internet users accept friend requests from others who they don't even know, and more than one-quarter (26%) admit to clicking on friends' links without any level of scrutiny or hesitation at all!

Even veteran security specialists fall victim to social engineering campaigns. The Dark Reading audience is most certainly less likely than the general population to succumb to such attacks, but anyone can make a mistake. And with social media potentially distributing spam to thousands in minutes, it's easy to see why social media has become such an exploitable and cost-effective attack vector.
lorraine89
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lorraine89,
User Rank: Ninja
9/12/2016 | 8:48:53 AM
Protecting online identity
Nice informative article. Just about time for social media users of all platforms, to secure their online identity. It's time that internet users feel the need to secure their connections by deploying vpn servers. I have myself been the victim of online counterfeiting via phishy email scam, therefore, I use PureVPN now to hide my IP from all sorts of tracking and preventing from those scam emails. 
lorraine89
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lorraine89,
User Rank: Ninja
10/27/2016 | 9:25:36 AM
Cyber security
Social media sites have become the safe haven for cyber security blows altogether for the fact that users on such sites pay pretty much least attention towards data security measures. Therefore, it is essential to never compromise our online security. I use PureVPN to secure my account from the perils of data theft and to avoid any form of hacking attempt. 
lorraine89
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50%
lorraine89,
User Rank: Ninja
10/27/2016 | 9:25:58 AM
Identity theft
Social media sites have become the safe haven for cyber security blows altogether for the fact that users on such sites pay pretty much least attention towards data security measures. Therefore, it is essential to never compromise our online security. I use PureVPN to secure my account from the perils of data theft and to avoid any form of hacking attempt. 
lorraine89
50%
50%
lorraine89,
User Rank: Ninja
10/27/2016 | 9:27:20 AM
Cyber security
Social media sites have become the safe haven for cyber security blows altogether for the fact that users on such sites pay pretty much least attention towards data security measures. Therefore, it is essential to never compromise our online security. I use PureVPN to secure my account from the perils of data theft and to avoid any form of hacking attempt. 
lorraine89
50%
50%
lorraine89,
User Rank: Ninja
10/27/2016 | 9:27:20 AM
Cyber security
Social media sites have become the safe haven for cyber security blows altogether for the fact that users on such sites pay pretty much least attention towards data security measures. Therefore, it is essential to never compromise our online security. I use PureVPN to secure my account from the perils of data theft and to avoid any form of hacking attempt. 
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