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BizReport : Social Marketing : March 01, 2019

Study: Fraudsters make billions off social cybercrimes

Brands and marketers should take a hard look at the information on their social media accounts. That, according to one new report which notes that fraudsters have made billions of dollars thanks to cryptomining and malware spread through various social media platforms.

by Kristina Knight

The report, Social Media Platforms and the Cybercrime Economy, was conducted by Bromium and notes that 20% (one in five) businesses have become infected with malware that is distributed via social networks; social cybercrimes are believed to result in at least $3 billion in annual revenues to fraudsters and black hats. And, the problem isn't just to businesses. Consumers are also having their data and identities stolen - about 1.3 billion consumers have had their data "compromised" over the past five years according to the report.

That consumer problem only ups the ante for businesses because employees and even leaders of companies are accessing social media at work or from devices on which they also conduct business.

"[Most]corporate employees access social media sites at work, which exposes significant risk of attack to businesses, local governments as well as individuals," said Gregory Webb, CEO of Bromium. "Hackers are using social media as a Trojan horse, targeting employees to gain a convenient backdoor to the enterprise's high value assets. [Organizations] can reduce the impact of social media-enabled attacks by adopting layered defenses that utilize application isolation and containment. This way, social media pages with embedded but often undetected malicious exploits are isolated within separate micro-virtual machines, rendering malware infections harmless. Users can click links and access untrusted social-media sites without risk of infection."

Other interesting findings from the report include:

▪ 4 of the 5 top global websites hosting cryptomining code are social media platforms
▪ 45% of "illicit data" traded between 2017 and 2018 can be associated with social media platform breaches
▪ Cybercrime involving social media grew 300x between 2015 and 2017
▪ Social media hosts 20% more ways that malware can be delivered to users/businesses than retail or digital media sites
▪ Cryptomining software has seen a 400% to 600% increase in detection since 2017
▪ 11 of the top 20 sites hosting crypto mining software are social networks

More data from the Bromium report can be accessed here.

Tags: advertising, Bromium, data security, mobile marketing, social cybercrime, social marketing

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