Cybercriminals Using Social Media to Steal Private Information: Norton Report

Cybercriminals Using Social Media to Steal Private Information: Norton Report

Norton Labs published its quarterly Consumer Cyber Safety Pulse Report. detailing the top consumer cybersecurity insights and takeaways from April through June 2022. Leveraging the company's global cyberthreat telemetry, the analysis includes new findings on how cybercriminals are using social media phishing attacks to steal people’s private information. 

Norton Labs analyzed a full year of phishing attacks on the top social media platforms, and while plenty of fake login pages designed to trick victims into inputting their login credentials were found, the diversity and complexity of lures went far beyond that one technique.

“Threat actors use social media for phishing attacks because it’s a low-effort and high return way to target billions of people around the world,” said Darren Shou, head of technology, NortonLifeLock. “As social media is intertwined in our daily lives, it’s key to know how to spot the signs of a scam and keep a sharp eye on where requests for your information are coming from. Even better, consider strong, multi-layered security that can be on the lookout for you, too.” 

Norton Labs uncovered the top tactics cybercriminals use to get victims to reveal personal information, and while classic login phishing pages are still the most common ploy, cybercriminals are finding new ways to deceive social media users.

Tactics include account lockouts – making it seem that a victim’s account has been locked due to “copyright violations”; follower generator services – luring victims to reveal login credentials or install malware on the promise of increasing follow count; and verified badge scams – prompting users to login to obtain, or not to lose, their verified status on the platform.

Another phishing campaign tactic aims to intercept temporary codes, to break into profiles with two-factor authentication enabled. These tokens are generally tied to the victim’s device and allow the scammer to perform privileged operations, such as modifying personal details or login credentials.  

By the Numbers 

From April to June 2022, Norton thwarted over 900 million threats, or around 10 million threats per day globally. In India, Norton blocked in total 15,955,446 threats, equating to an average of 175,334.57 blocks per day.

During that three-month period, there were:

  • 22.6 million phishing attempts globally
  • 103.7 million file threats globally

Globally, there were 302 thousand mobile threats and 78 thousand ransomware attacks 

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