Hackers Are Pretending To Be Customer Support For Banks On Twitter To Steal Personal Info

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Cyber-criminals are using Twitter in order to dupe unwitting social media users looking for financial help into giving up their personal information.

Hackers are pretending to be part of bank customer service support staff, according to ZDNet. They do this by creating fake accounts, evoking genuineness, and then providing links which appear to be legitimate, but are actually portals to malware (viruses) or to phony pages requesting personal data.

The concept of tailoring online communications with potential victims to lure the unsuspecting into clicking on an infected file or link is known as “phishing.” It’s actually an effective tactic, since roughly half of people click on infected links even after knowing the risks, according to a study conducted by German security researchers.

Cyber-criminals are actively monitoring Twitter to see which users are petitioning for support from financial institutions. Customers send tweets to the official Barclays banking support account (@BarclaysUKHelp). Hackers notice these tweets and hijack the request through a very similarly worded account (@BarclaysHelpUK).

Some links are often already embedded with viruses that can debilitate a online user capabilities, but in this instance, victims enter their login credentials (username and password). The cyber-criminals then steal the information to steal money and data.

Phishing scams are also often found in emails, in which a hacker will pretend to be a recognizable person or organization and include infected links.

During the experiment conducted by German researchers, people said they clicked on untrustworthy emails because they “had been to a party the previous week where there people they did not know.” In other words, they wanted to get in touch with a person so bad, they willfully (but unknowingly) clicked on infected links in hopes of connecting.

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Eric Lieberman