FBI: Cyber Thieves Mine Info from Social Networking Sites like Facebook

The social networking site, Facebook, recently reached a new milestone: 500 million users.

That’s 500 million people liking, friending and posting online. That also means millions being scammed and having their personal information mined and shared.

According to Gordon M. Snow, the assistant director for the FBI, cyber thieves are using data mining on social networking sites as a way to extract sensitive information from victims. They do it many different ways, but one of the most popular and easiest for miners is the “Getting to Know You” quiz.

“While the answers to these questions do not appear to be malicious on the surface, they often mimic the same questions that are asked by financial institutions or e-mail account providers when an individual had forgotten their password,” Snow recently told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.

Access to someone’s e-mail may be all a criminal needs to then gather information about bank accounts and credit cards.

Many times, victims aren’t’ even aware the money taken from their bank accounts was done with information mined from a social networking site or even a smartphone.

“In most cases people have no idea how their identity was stolen,” Karen Hunt, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Victorville station said. “Although it’s possible (social networking hacking or mining) may have been the component that started it.”

Data mining, or the gleaming of public information is not illegal, according to officials.

Recently, the names, profiles and URLs for 171 million Facebook accounts were collected from publicly available information and uploaded as a torrent or file-sharing application.

Ron Bowes, a security consultant at Skull Security, was able to legally gather the information electronically to show how vulnerable most social networking site users are.

As of Thursday morning, there had been more than 10,000 downloads of the torrent information.

According to Bowes, the problem becomes those with malicious intentions can use this public information as a jumping off point to then search and find more information about the victim.

But it isn’t just social networking sites that are affected.

Smartphone apps can also mine a person’s phone for subscriber information such as SIM card numbers and passwords.

One in particular is a wallpaper app created by Jackeey Wallpaper for Android which allegedly mines users’ information and according to PC World, is being sent to a domain registered in China.

The creator of the application denies all claims and said in a recent interview with Android Tapp, only information about the device is captured.

Just as there are antivirus programs for computers, people can also find similar software for their smartphones, such as Lookout. -Daily Press



Copyright © Jewish Internet Defense Force
All Rights Reserved

LEGAL:
The views expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of the JIDF. The content is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company or individual. This site's intention is to do no harm, to not injure others, defame, or libel. All data and information provided on this site is for informational, educational, and/or entertainment purposes only. The Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF) makes no representations as to accuracy, currentness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use, or access to this site. We are not responsible for translation or interpretation of content. We are not responsible for defamatory statements bound to government, religious or other laws from the reader’s country of origin. All information is provided on an as-is basis with no warranties, and confers no rights. We are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, opinions expressed, privacy policies, products or services or for any damages or losses, directly or indirectly, caused or alleged to have been caused as a result of your use or reliance on such information on the Jewish Internet Defense Force site. This site includes links to other sites and blogs operated by third parties. These links are provided as a convenience to you and as an additional avenue of access to the information contained therein. We have not reviewed all of the information on other sites and are not responsible for the content of any other sites or any products or services that may be offered through other sites. The inclusion of these links in no way indicates their endorsement, support or approval of the contents of this site or the policies or positions of the JIDF. We have the right to edit, remove or deny access to content that is determined to be, in our sole discretion, unacceptable. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use this blog and the Website. The JIDF is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Related Posts with Thumbnails