In recent times, there has been a substantial rise in the number of data breaches. From Ashley Madison to recent Facebook’s data breach, the list is virtually endless. Even the biggest organizations and social media giants like Facebook have suffered serious data breaches of millions of users.
Even worrisome is the fact that only the major social media giant related data breaches get widespread public attention. However, in reality numerous others social media sites continue to get breached and hacked on almost daily basis. Hence, the number of websites getting hacked / compromised is much more than what it appears superficially.
How Hackers Work?
Hackers constantly alter their methods and employ new tricks to remain ahead of the defenders of the virtual world - CISOs. With time, their attacks are becoming sophisticated and clandestine. For example, now-a-days malicious links are hidden within images something known as “Steganography”.
The vulnerabilities within systems and devices, if not patched are leveraged by hackers. According to reports, 70% of the breaches could have been avoided by installing patches and updates in real time. However, even when updates are available, systems continue to remain un-patched and thus face un-authorized data access.
Why Social Media is the New Target?
Social media have become giants over time. For example, Facebook alone has over 300 million users in India! Thus, any data breach of social media can provide data of millions of users, which can be sold on underground platforms like Dark-net for millions of dollars.
Similarly, perpetual attempts are made to hack social media accounts of individual users. Several attackers eventually gain success in their attempts to hack them. Hacking individual social media accounts is relatively easy in the virtual world, due to factors discussed below:
How Social Media Accounts are Useful to Hackers:
Social media accounts contain some of the most private information about an individual, especially direct chats with family and friends. These information and chats can reveal a lot of information about an individual and also be used for committing further cyber crimes. Here are some of the ways a hacker can benefit from hacked social media accounts:
Now, you may have realized the extent to which your hacked social media accounts can be mis-used. The way a hacker will mis-use your account depends on the intent of hacking, his thought process and his tech savvy nature, amongst others.
In one off cases, the hacked accounts have also been used by anti social elements like terrorists, extremists etc to communicate with other members of the group, to extort levy, to plan and co-ordinate events etc. Therefore, you must take plausible steps to prevent your social media account from getting hacked, which we shall discuss in another write-up.
Learn ways to prevent social media accounts hacking, here: https://cyber-cops.com/blog/10-ways-to-prevent-social-media-accounts-hack