Chapter 1: Why is social media a gold-mine for hackers

In the next few chapters, you will gain a thorough understanding of why social media is a gold mine for hackers! Let’s dive in.

The content is divided into six seperate parts as you can see below in the screen. Tap on to either of the six options and learn more about the subject.

What will you learn in the following subjects?

Social media profiles

Table of content

Why should we care about social media hacks?

On social media you can take on your new identity. Now this opens up a wide world of possibilities which make these sort of media so much fun.  You can set up somebody’s Tinder profile in order to get him or her a match, you can manage the social media of your company or organization and help your grandparents out whenever necessary.

This flexibility in usage has a downside. People can pose as whoever they want online and try to scam you. Now you can argue that you are smart enough to see through these enormously obvious scam messages, but it happens to more people than you might expect nowadays as the volume increases dramatically.

1: Alarming statistics about cybersecurity

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Hacked social media accounts

In 2020, about 50.000 different social media accounts were hacked. At least, those were reported.. Most hacks of social media accounts are not even reported at all.

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Costs of data breach in 2020 in €

Average amount of money lost in a big data-breach. For example Google lost 50 million due to the failure in GDPR compliments. It results in damage of digital infrastructure and rebuilding a reputation.

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Social media records breached in 2018

For social engineering, social media is the place to go. They can find a lot of information about you online and it becomes even easier if you have all the information in a public profile.

How Trump's Twitter account could be hacked so easily

An ethical hacker called Victor Ewens hacked into Donald J Trump’s account with password maga2020, meaning Make America Great Again 2020. Now this was headline news because hacked the most influential account through:

You read it right, Ewens did not even need a sophisticated program or anything technical. Luckily he reported this immediately to the secret service, but imagine if the wrong people got their hands on that account. The consequences would have been much more severe.

Trump Twitter account hack

Is one of your passwords easy to crack? Think about it and check if it can be guessed at. Is it something with the name of your dog or where you live for example?

Yes

Recommend changing your password

Check if you can change your password into something more sophisticated. This way if someone would try to hack you, they do not gain access by simply guessing.

No

Great, be careful though

Good to know that your password ain't easily hackable by guessing. Be critical about your password. Is it not the name of your former primary school? Your girlfriend's name with some numbers?

 

2: The Twitter Bitcoin scheme

Barack Obama’s, Bill Gates and Elon Musk are a few out of the many celebrities that got their account hacked in the Twitter bitcoin scheme in July 2020. Hackers got inside their big community of people and used the faithfullness of their followers to transfer money.

Where did the hack come from? It suggested that this hack came with the help of an employee from Twitter for which they started an internal investigation.

What are the losses?

Imagine you saw this tweet on the timeline of your favorite infuencer, would you be triggered to do it?

Yes

Be careful

If you see your favorite influencer or a family member posting something that is too good to be true, then it probably is. Especially if it involves money or asking you to leave some kind of password.

Just ignore those messages in the future.

No

Great

Great to hear that you are already so critical about the content that you see. Cheers to you!

3: 2016, LinkedIn data breach: 117 e-mails and passwords are hacked

Now this is a data-breach of LinkedIn contained 117 e-mails and encrypted passwords that were hacked. If you want to check if you have been hacked before, check it through Have I been powned?

Now even if you are within this database, do not worry immediately. Your passwords are encrypted with a dash in that database so that means that hackers cannot grasp your password so easily. You might ask, how does this work exactly? Watch the video underneath to what a hacker collects in a data-breach.

 

It is recommended to change your password immediately after a data-breach if they somehow do get through.

How passwords are stored in a database

Have you ever checked if your data is stolen on a breach on Have I been powned?

Yes

Be careful

Great, be sure to keep looking at it once a year. The cyberhacks are increasing the latest years, so there is a good chance that your data might be in one of these hacks as well. Keep up the good work!

No

You might wanna check it out

Have I been powned gains a lot of insight about where you can find all your login-files. You might hear about hacks you never heard before.

Summary of the chapter

Social media security

Time for chapter 2: Protecting your social media profiles

We have covered the basic risks and statistics of why it is necessary to update your knowledge about cybersecurity risks. Again,  the purpose of this chapter was not to scare you, but to make you aware of the problem. There are practical steps that you can take to counter the threat. Chapter 2 will be focussed on taking steps to prevent online disasters.

Let’s get started!