Social Media Security: Using Facebook to Steal Company Data

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert

There is a reason why computer users are called “users.” Like crack addicts who are drug users, more is never enough. And when under the influence, people do stupid things. I find myself scanning the Dell catalog like it’s the latest (or any) Victoria Secrets catalog. I’m amazed at how many people I know are online all day long and digitally stoned. The bad guy knows you are obsessed and uses this against you. He sees that you are comfortably numb here. He understands that in the virtual world you’re delirious and more apt to respond to his message then log your credentials.

Meanwhile Facebook’s security and privacy issues are being challenged from all sides. And during the brouhaha one of the Facebooks investors fell for a Facebook phishing scam.

Steve Stasiukonis is vice president and founder of Secure Network Technologies Inc. and publishes to Dark Reading tested his clients network using a bogus identity, and joined the companies Facebook site and started mining the names and email addresses of individuals who identified themselves as employees.

As he collected a database of names for a penetration test in the phish, he secured a domain name similar to that of his client. This domain name took on the appearance of a human resources or benefits portal. When he emailed the employees as “human resources,” they were redirected to a Web page, such as

He has been able to accumulate significant numbers of emails for phishing targets from Facebook and other social networking sites. When he launched his companie’s Facebook spear-phishing attack, he usually got an average response rate of 45 to 50 percent. So nearly half of the employees responded to an email with the logins and passwords they use on their employers’ network.

Steve says:

— Officially sponsor the social networking site and assign an administrator who is responsible for permitting employees to join. This will help control somebody infiltrating the site for devious purposes.

— Establish a social networking policy. If your employees are participating in social networking sites (company sponsored or not) make sure company policies dictate what is and is not permissible. For example, divulging your corporate email account on social networking sites should not be permitted.

— Last but not least, if employees feel the need to gather and converse about their day-to-day work, personal lives, and hobbies, consider a corporate intranet. Maybe someday social networking vendors will launch a product that will provide the same features and benefits, but with the security tools needed to keep employees and company secrets safe. But in the meantime, it’s up to you.

Sober up and protect your identity.

Invest in Intelius identity theft protection and prevention. Not all forms of identity theft can be prevented, but identity theft protection services can dramatically reduce your risk. (Disclosures)

Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Speaker discussing Facebook Hackers on CNN

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