Social Media Enabled Cybercriminals Generate $3.25 Billion Revenue Every Year: Report

Must Read

New RBI Guidelines Force You To Memorise All Of Your Card Details

It's time to get your brain prepped to do some much-needed homework and commit to memory the...

Bounce Layoff: Bike Rental Startup To Pivot Into New Vertical

Bike-rental startup Bounce has laid off a massive chunk of its workforce in a bid to survive...

Zomato Beefs Up Valuation Prior To IPO In Its Latest Fundraising Round!

Before heading to the stock market with an IPO, the homegrown food delivery startup Zomato beefs up...

A study called “Social Media Platforms and the Cybercrime Economy” commissioned by virtualisation-based security firm Bromium has confirmed that social media enabled cyber crimes are generating revenue to the tune of at least $3.25 billion every year globally.

Additionally, at least 20% organizations have been infected by viruses and malware spread over social networks. The report also revealed that more than 1.3 billion social media users have suffered privacy breaches by playing into the hands of such criminals in the last five years.

The Social Media Platforms And The Cybercrime 

The immense reach and the popularity of social platforms make them easy targets for hackers and cybercriminals. There are over 2.7 billion internet users, equals 70% of the world internet population, use social media channels on a monthly basis.

Advertisements

The six-month study conducted by Dr Mike McGuire, senior lecturer in criminology at Surrey University (UK), follows his earlier (April 2018) study in which he had concluded that cybercriminals actually earn more than most political leaders and university graduates.

The findings of the second instalment of the “Net for Revenue” sequence go on to highlight that various social networks- including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter- have become happy hunting grounds for cybercriminals.

The report was compiled on the basis of data shared by leading social sites, business and law enforcement agencies, interviews with the users of these platforms besides analysing the posts, comments and uploads thereupon.

The report published Tuesday draws readers’ attention to the fact that the availability of these platforms gives these scamsters the opportunities to “amplify, persuade and spread malware more quickly than email or other attack vectors.”

Instances of social media enabled crimes have grown four folds in the UK between 2013 and 2018 while in the US they have grown by more than 30,000% during the 2015-17 period.

Advertisements

Since 2016, there has been a 36% increase in cases where social sites were used for criminal recruitment. Wily criminals get through to individuals surfing these platforms by offering them huge amounts of money for short term roles.

“These platforms have brought money laundering to the kind of individuals not typically associated with this crime — young millennials and generation Z,” McGuire points out. “Data from UK banks suggests there might be as many as 8,500 money mule accounts in the UK owned by individuals under the age of 21, and most of this recruitment is conducted via social media.”

Almost half (45-50%) of data breaches during 2017-18 had their origins across social platforms, thereby underlining how threat actors today are exploiting the social media networks, much to the dismay of unsuspecting victims.

Rapid growth in cryptocurrency mining has also fuelled a 300 fold increase in such crimes during the last two years, pointed out the report. McGuire discovered that the number of miners affected by malware during the 2017-18 period had doubled.

11 of the top 20 global websites hosting cryptocurrency mining code are social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

“Facebook Messenger has been instrumental in spreading cryptocurrency mining strains like Digmine,” writes McGuire.

The professor pointed towards an instance where a smart hacker took over UK based retailer Matalan’s Twitter account and tweaked it to resemble the electric car making company Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk’s account. The audacious criminal later sent out tweets asking for small bitcoin donations by promising to reward the donors later!

Other key findings of the report include that tools and services required to conduct such cyber frauds (including botnet hires and data trades) are widely available on 40% of these social sites itself. It also reveals that the distribution of credit card details alone fetches these criminals $630 million every year.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

Facebook Continues Taking A Jab At Apple With New Marketing Campaign

Even after a month of attacking and accusing Tim Cook Zuckerberg is still very much fizzle out...

Xiaomi Levels Up On India Manufacturing: 99% Smartphones Are Made In India

Xiaomi really is digging its heels to live up to a commitment. One of the first adopters of the...

After SMS, WhatsApp Now Becomes A Threat To Cell Calling: 1 Billion And Counting

It already buried the SMSes in the ground. Now, traditional cellular calling is next on the hit list. The number of WhatsApp...

Flipkart Quickly Learns From the Mistake Amazon Did: Setting Up A Level Playing Field For Sellers!

Unlike Amazon which allegedly implemented unethical strategies to tackles India’s FDI policy for e-commerce marketplaces, Flipkart plans to do it right!

Facebook’s $1 Billion Commitment To The News Industry: An Effort To Defuse The Situation!

Barking dogs seldom bite! After agreeing to reverse the news ban for Australian users, now Facebook is finally...

New RBI Guidelines Force You To Memorise All Of Your Card Details

It's time to get your brain prepped to do some much-needed homework and commit to memory the 16-digit numbers from all of...

In-Depth: Dprime

Will ‘TikTok By Microsoft’ Be A Winner?

For the last two years, TikTok has been in the public eye for all sorts of reasons. First, it was the exploded...

Facebook Subscription Model: Looking Beyond Ad Dollars?

Seldom do job listings create a stir this gripping. However, when the job listing in question is a stealth post from Twitter,...

Will The Online Food Delivery Market in India End Up Becoming A Two-Horse Race?

It's pretty much evident that the food delivery space in India is all set to get riled up soon enough as one...

More Articles Like This