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Six Reasons Why Cyber Criminals Love Social Media


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Social media is an enabler for business, but it also presents a growing digital risk to consumer-facing organizations. The global rise in popularity of social media platforms has lured fraudsters to expand their activities to the virtual world. Take a look at the six reasons why cyber criminals love social media.
For more insights on how you can manage fraud and risk of expanding your business to these digital platforms, read the latest RSA Quarterly Fraud Report on their Fraud & Risk Intelligence site. More details:

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Six Reasons Why Cyber Criminals Love Social Media

  2. 2. 2 There is no doubt that modern social media technology has served as a boon for connecting people across the globe, but the features that make these omnipresent platforms valuable to legitimate users are often also prized by those with malicious motives. The following are some of the biggest reasons cyber criminals and hackers love social media.
  3. 3. 3 1 BUILT-IN ANONYMITY Representative screen names and subjective identity information, such as a user profile, provides malicious actors their initial layer of confidentiality. Thanks to the ready availability of webmail, and its often voluntary identity verification requirements, not only can malicious actors have one anonymous social media account, but they can–and often do–have dozens or more, ready to be activated as needed.
  4. 4. 4 2Explicit invite-only and group-management functionality inherent in nearly all social media platforms are valuable to fraudsters whose primary concern–even above making money–is to remain unknown to any who would foil their plans, or report them to authorities. In addition, these platforms are often designed to bring like-minded users together through the use of referrals, potentially enabling a wider range of awareness of cyber criminal accounts. EXCLUSIVE INVITE- ONLY NETWORK STRUCTURES
  5. 5. 5 3Early social media platforms had to be optimized for mobile. Today’s apps are engineered to be viewed as hand-held dashboards of their users’ lives. Mobile-enabled social platforms allow real- time monitoring and access to all information on the network, from anywhere with cellular access or WIFI, enabling fraudsters to be nimbler than ever in making deals and dodging authorities. MOBILE INTEGRATION
  6. 6. 6 4In the past, there was a clear distinction between instant messaging platforms and social media. However, today the platforms previously used solely for the purpose of peer-to-peer communication, have evolved into something more, often being used in the same way as social media. The increasing ability across multiple platforms to support more modes of content (e.g. photos, video) and interaction (e.g. comments, voting) allows criminals to better refine their operations. EXPANDING FEATURE SETS
  7. 7. 7 5All fraud groups in social media can be thought of as one uniform sphere. Fraudsters often advertise groups/contacts from one platform in another one, and alternate between two or more platforms, even during conversations. Moreover, the content shared in the various social media groups is inherently similar, and mainly serves to increase the fraudster's reputation and customer base. MULTI-PLATFORM ADVERTISING MODELS
  8. 8. 8 6While there are differences between the platforms and particular reasons to choose one over another, fraudsters generally behave like typical social media users. Most try to be represented on as many platforms as possible to reach as wide an audience as possible, maximizing their marketing and market visibility. And why not? These days, fellow criminals, paying customers, and even unsuspecting victims are often now just a click away. CRIMINALS ARE USERS, TOO
  9. 9. RSA® Business-Driven Security™ solutions uniquely link business context with security incidents to help organizations manage digital risk and protect what matters most. With award-winning cybersecurity solutions from RSA, a Dell Technologies business, organizations can detect and respond to advanced attacks; manage user identities and access; and reduce business risk, fraud and cybercrime. RSA solutions protect millions of users around the world and help more than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies take command of their security posture and thrive in an uncertain, high-risk world. For more information, visit