July 4, 2023
MANILA – Hackers are meticulously studying the behavior of users via social media so the perpetrators can launch targeted phishing attacks that will potentially disrupt business operations and even lead to financial losses, cybersecurity expert Palo Alto Networks warned.
In a recent statement, Palo Alto noted that cyberhackers usually visit social media profiles of their victims, including company employees, before lodging digital threats that trick users into providing their personal information and sensitive enterprise data.
“These attacks appeal to emotions such as fear, curiosity, urgency and greed and beckon unsuspecting employees to click on a link or attachment, ignoring basic cybersecurity hygiene,” it explained.
One of the most common digital threats, Palo Alto noted, was ransomware, which is a form of a cyberattack that holds an entity’s data or system hostage until a ransom has been paid. It is a type of malware—or malicious software—which is designed to illegally infiltrate computer networks.
According to the company’s “Unit 42 Network Threat Trends Research Report,” 66 percent of malware is launched through PDFs (portable document format). It can usually be attached via emails and when users click on them, hackers can potentially have a way in the company’s database.
“As public interest in generative AI (artificial intelligence) grows, malicious actors also use this to their advantage, with ChatGPT-themed lures increasingly being used to spread malware across platforms like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp,” Palo Alto added.
According to Kaspersky Security Network, nearly half of the Filipinos were targeted by web threats last year, most of which are malware.