Hacking Becomes Bad Reality

Twitter hijacking: A scam in 2008 hacked major celebrity accounts, including Bill O’Reilly, President Barack Obama and Britney Spears. Here’s how it works: Someone sends a link which leads to a Web page asking for the user’s login credentials. It’s a completely avoidable – NEVER EVER enter your login credentials from a website accessed via email, IM, or twitter. It should concern all citizens when our President of the United States is among the victims. This just goes to show, we are ALL vulnerable, not matter how smart or aware we think we are, so BEWARE!!

Facebook phishing scam: This phishing scam posted messages on users’ profiles warning friends that they were going to delete their profiles and that friends should click on a link to the new profile. The new profile link, however, was really a fake login page that tricked Facebook users into logging in and letting hackers steal their information.

MySpace hackers: The rapper, Soulja Boy was scammed by members of 4chan, who demanded that Soulja Boy pay them $2,500 “in order to regain control over his MySpace account,” Cyber Crimes reports. Soulja Boy’s record company contacted MySpace, who returned his account.

Teen actress and singer Miley Cyrus’ MySpace page was hacked and photos of her midriff were circulated around the Internet, her parents got mad. Her hacker Josh Holly was eventually caught in an FBI raid on October 2008. (It’s seems being rich or famous springs the FBI into action. Most of the time they will not pursue these types of crimes.)

Evil Friends: Long Island friends Shaun Harrison and Saverio Mondelli were caught when they tried to track MySpace users through e-mail by creating their own code, demanding that the social media network pay them $150,000 as a consulting fee. Under their plan, MySpace users would be able to view the IP and e-mail addresses of all the visitors to their profile, but MySpace’s terms of agreement prevents that sort of monitoring. MSNBC reports that “two counts of attempted extortion and another illegal computer access count were dropped in the deal,” however.

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Helpful security tips to help fight against Phishing Scams:

  1. Stop the virtual popularity contest. There’s a real trend among members of social networking sites to friend as many folks as possible, even if they don’t actually know them. The same goes for “following” and responding to unknown “tweets” on Twitter.Promiscuous “friend-ing” provides ripe opportunities for would-be attackers to spread worms and other viruses.
  2. Don’t go click happy. Regardless of whether you know the sender, never click on links received unexpectedly.
  3. Be careful what you click for. If you do click a link that then requests you install something, don’t install it. If you have a reason to believe a legitimate update is required, visit that vendor’s website directly and update from there.
  4. Be cautious with your login information. If you follow a link that then instructs you to provide your login credentials, don’t. Never login to a site accessed via email, instant messaging, or a social networking site. Instead, visit the site as you normally would and login via the normal interface.
  5. Always sign out and log off. Users should log off of sites they are not actively using. By taking this extra step, you will not only be enhancing your own security, but the security of your legitimate friends as well.
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