Growing social media fraud means trouble for IT pros

A recent survey serves as a reminder to IT pros and users that, despite how common it is to our daily lives, social media can still pose security risks from hackers. 

And even more concerning, the amount of social media fraud is on the rise, according to a new study by Proofpoint.

The email security provider looked at the social media accounts of 10 top brands, including Capital One, Sony, Amazon and Starbucks on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter. In other words, the kind of popular brands you’re users probably see ads for all the time when browsing their social media accounts.

Hiding in plain sight

Researchers found that there were 4,840 accounts associated with those 10 top brands.

However, not everyone using those accounts were who they said they were. A fifth of those accounts were phony, Proofpoint discovered.

The good news is that some of those phony accounts just tried to sell other users bogus products from those brands.

But many were also set up to help hackers develop their attacks. They typically tried to improve phishing scams by collecting data on businesses and execs, or led users to malicious third-party sites in order to download malware onto systems.

It’s worthwhile to warn users to keep an eye out for these bad actors when using the sites on work devices and company networks.

You’ll also want to warn execs not to reveal too much personal or professional info on their social media accounts since hackers could use those details to fool other users at your business.

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