The social media dangers you need to watch out for in 2015

The increased popularity of social media, for business as well as personal use, has opened up a new avenue of attack for cyber criminals.

Risk management company ZeroFOX has produced a list of the top social media attacks to look out for this year.

These include impersonations of businesses and executives using fake accounts. These can be used to send phishing messages, launch social engineering attacks or to damage the reputation of those targeted.

Hijacking accounts is another approach. Once in control an attacker can do serious damage either by malware attacks or cyber vandalism. Organisations need to treat their accounts like any other high value asset when it comes to protecting them.

As social media has become a popular source of news, so attackers have realised that they can launch a successful attack by planting malicious links where people are discussing events.

This is known as 'watering hole phishing' and is made worse by the fact that 75 per cent of people use the same password for their social media and email so one one account is compromised the other is too.

Clickbait attacks using sensationalist headlines are another concern as is the hijacking of hashtags to distribute malicious links to a specific audience or divert traffic.

ZeroFOX points out that cyber criminals are using social media to plan their attacks too.

With the right tools in place, organisations can leverage social media as an early warning system, unlocking a wealth of attack data that could give security teams the edge.

You can see the full list of threats on the ZeroFOX blog.

Image Credit: Fabio Freitas e Silva / Shutterstock