[German]Users of social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram, etc. are the focus of hackers and Internet criminals. Anyone who can compromise such an account has a wide range of options for misuse. Whoever can access the data of a social media account often gets hold of very personal data. Security provider Check Point Technologies GmbH points out that social media users are the focus of hackers, especially during the festive season.
Social media platforms are growing continuously, as figures from the first half of 2021 show. 4.2 billion users worldwide now use these websites. This means that an average of 490 million accounts, or 13 percent, are added every year. That's a total of over 53 percent of the world's population, if there were just one user for every account.
Unsurprisingly, these platforms and their accounts are very attractive to cyber criminals. People sometimes provide extremely intimate photos and information that can be easily exploited for extortion, fraud and theft. That's why Check Point has compiled the three most common scams to simply be better prepared:
- Fake web pages: One of the most common methods is setting up deceptive-looking but fake web pages. These even use very similar looking URLs. People are lured there via phishing emails or phishing SMS messages and a link contained in them, asking them to enter data which then goes to the hackers. As a subject, people are often warned that they should change their password because an incident has occurred.
- DNS hijacking: Here, the cyber criminals pretend to be the sender of a trustworthy social network in an e-mail. In this way, they want to obtain the victim's personal data. If successful, this data is sold on the dark web, for example, and misused to send mass spam emails – or for blackmail.
- Contaminated routers: Hackers like to infect the routers themselves with malware after they have penetrated a device connected to it. Once they have cracked the router, they can change its DNS address in such a way that when the user tries to access a certain web page via their browser, they are redirected to another page chosen by the attacker.
Therefore, every user should be very careful before clicking on links in emails or SMS messages – the more luridly they are written, the more so. The sender's address should be checked, the content scrutinized for plausibility and the address of the targeted web page scrutinized.
Spelling errors or missing signatures are also conspicuous signs of fraud. In addition, no reputable company will ever ask for access data for any Internet account via e-mail or SMS. All of this should be considered in order to get through the "time between the years" safely and relaxed, which traditionally see an increase in cyber attacks with the start of the shopping season
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