01 Jul 2016 20:20 IST

How fraudsters phish on the social media

Personal data on social networks are inviting baits

If you are the sort who likes sharing intimate details about your personal life on social media, then beware! Phishers are now choosing to trawl social media sites to target their next victim than depend on their old, tested email method.

Social channels are easier platforms for identity theft, says a study on retail payments systems by the RBI’s Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT).

Spear phishing is often used to launch attacks using personal details such as friends, education, age, marital status that are easily available on social networks, says the study.

It’s not only individuals, but businesses too that are equally susceptible, going by the global trends in network breaches and identity thefts.

According to the Symantec Security Report 2016, the number of identity thefts reported during 2015 was a staggering 428 million. About 430 million unique pieces of malware were observed last year, showing an increase of 36 per cent over the previous year. As per Government of India data, cyber fraud cases worth ₹497 crore have been reported by the RBI and the CBI since 2011.

“The recent cyber attacks on the Bangladesh Central Bank further shows the skilfulness of the attackers to subvert millions of dollars without any notice.”

The increasing recourse to e-commerce could be a source of trouble if no precautionary measures are taken, it noted.

With increase in transaction volume, the fraudsters are also constantly trying to increase their pie from the total sales. Among the various types of financial frauds, card-based are the most common, the IDRBT report says.

It also says that identity theft thrives through tools such as malware, ransomware and phishing, adding that despite various solutions for tackling such frauds, awareness is the key for users to remain secure.