Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Social Networking: ID Theft Goldmine

Ever watch what your friends put on Facebook or other social networking sites and just shake your head in amazement? Hackers sure don't. They don't even need any fancy tools or tricks to steal someone's identity from off a social networking site.

Besides the obvious like telling the whole world when you'll be away on vacation -- an open invitation not to hackers but land-based thieves looking for an easy break-in -- consider other information people put on sites: job information, birthdates, schools attended and graduation dates and family photos. How about other family information, like your mother's maiden name?

All of this can be used to knit together enough of a profile for an identity thief to bypass security questions on banking sites, create false ID cards and even open loan applications in the victim's name.

Although 57% of respondents to a survey in the UK on identity theft said they were concerned that social networking sites make ID theft easier, two thirds of those surveyed said they didn't take adequate protection.

Maybe a little common sense is in order, rather than some new tool or service, when it comes to posting on social networking sites.


Blogger Juliano Dapper said...

Hello Joel,

My project (OpenPCI Toolkit) was cited on your portal and i wonder how you knew about my project.

Best Regards.

Juliano Dapper

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Penetration Testing said...

Don't you think the social networking sites have a social obligation to warn their customer how this information can be abused? Perhaps they could have a brief warning before you post. Although that would be an acknowledgement that what these sites promote could be dangerous.

6:33 PM  

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