Hackers can send emails to your spouse, boss on your behalf from social media info – study

Saturday, July 10th, 2021 21:57 |
Cybercrime. Photo/Courtesy
Cybercrime. Photo/Courtesy

Your email address, pictures of your kids, the information you can find on a social media page - all are details hackers are using to break into your computer. With powerful AI and software tools, hackers can scan your information online at incredible speeds.

“If someone is trying to impersonate your boss, or a good friend, or colleague, maybe your spouse, they can spoof the email address and make it look like it is coming from someone else. They know who to contact..whether it is coming from your personal or work email,” said cybersecurity expert Leeza Garber.

And cybercriminals no longer have to go through individual profile pages - they can gather data in bulk from many accounts.

"These kinds of tools that scrape for data using AI and other mechanisms can pull data from hundreds of thousands of profiles at once," said Garber.

Facebook says that malicious actors obtained data from more than 530 million Facebook users not through hacking, but by scraping it from their platform prior to September 2019. LinkedIn says they "investigated an alleged set of LinkedIn data that has been posted for sale; it does include publicly viewable member profile data that appears to have been scraped from LinkedIn.”

“This data is very valuable when you put it all together. It can be used for marketing and advertising… It can also be used for negative purposes like trying to hack into someone's account, stealing their money, and things like that,” said Garber.

Facebook says it is devoting substantial resources to combating unauthorized scraping, but you may be the best defense.

“I don't want to make it sound like you can't use social media but you have to be cognizant of oversharing and what the privacy settings are,” said Garber.

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