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Vulnerabilities / Threats

4/6/2017
02:40 PM
Kelly Sheridan
Kelly Sheridan
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7 Ways Hackers Target Your Employees

One employee under reconnaissance by cyberattackers can put your whole business at risk. Where are they being targeted, and what should they know?
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Impersonation
We live in a world centered on telling everyone about what we're doing, when we're doing it. Attackers only need to access a few social networks to piece together a full picture of one person's life. Facebook may have a higher barrier to entry, but public profiles still provide a lot of personal data.
'Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, those top four accounts can tell you almost everything about a person: family, friends, favorite restaurants, music, interests,' says Hadnagy. 'Tying all those together, you can imagine how powerful that is for an attacker.'
All employees are vulnerable to impersonation, he says. C-level executives, and the high-level administrators with access to their personal data, are at the greatest risk. The key is to maintain constant awareness throughout the organization so everyone is alert to this type of activity.
[Learn more in 'Defeating Social Engineering, Business Email Compromises, & Phishing' during Interop ITX, May 15-19, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.]
'For the most part, anyone can create an account and pretend to be someone they're not,' warns Steve Ginty, cofounder of PassiveTotal and researcher at RiskIQ.
He poses a few questions worth asking as employees pursue brand-building strategies: How well do they know the people they're connecting with? How many of their fellow employees are also connected with those people? Has this person been impersonated in the past?
It's also worth noting that if someone has been impersonated in the past, it's likely they'll be targeted again in the future. If an employee receives a request from someone whose identity has previously been stolen, they should take the time to investigate.
(Image: Niroworld via Shutterstock)

Impersonation

We live in a world centered on telling everyone about what we're doing, when we're doing it. Attackers only need to access a few social networks to piece together a full picture of one person's life. Facebook may have a higher barrier to entry, but public profiles still provide a lot of personal data.

"Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, those top four accounts can tell you almost everything about a person: family, friends, favorite restaurants, music, interests," says Hadnagy. "Tying all those together, you can imagine how powerful that is for an attacker."

All employees are vulnerable to impersonation, he says. C-level executives, and the high-level administrators with access to their personal data, are at the greatest risk. The key is to maintain constant awareness throughout the organization so everyone is alert to this type of activity.

[Learn more in "Defeating Social Engineering, Business Email Compromises, & Phishing" during Interop ITX, May 15-19, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.]

"For the most part, anyone can create an account and pretend to be someone they're not," warns Steve Ginty, cofounder of PassiveTotal and researcher at RiskIQ.

He poses a few questions worth asking as employees pursue brand-building strategies: How well do they know the people they're connecting with? How many of their fellow employees are also connected with those people? Has this person been impersonated in the past?

It's also worth noting that if someone has been impersonated in the past, it's likely they'll be targeted again in the future. If an employee receives a request from someone whose identity has previously been stolen, they should take the time to investigate.

(Image: Niroworld via Shutterstock)

3 of 8
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zaltter
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zaltter,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/10/2017 | 3:30:30 AM
Website
Problem with linkedin is, we really need it... this is a total open door for hakers...
RyanSepe
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RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
4/7/2017 | 8:37:59 AM
"LinkedIn is one of the biggest sources of wealth for the bad guys,"
At SecureWorld Philadelphia, it was demonstrated that LinkedIn will typically catalog the individuals organization and software packages they are familiar with. This type of recon allows for the attacker to hone down the amount of exploits he or she will need to review when crafting a phishing attack.
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