Cyber criminals increasingly targeting social networking sites like Facebook to steal money

Sydney, Feb 8: Australian cyber crime authorities have issued a warning to internet users that cyber criminals are increasingly targeting social networking sites like Facebook as a way to steal their money.

Commander Glen McEwen, manager of the Australian Federal Police’s cyber crime operations, and Federal Agent Scott Mellis have said that the growing commercialization of social media through links to online trading provided cyber criminals with a strong motivation to hack people’s account details, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Mellis said that the growing link between social networking and online trading known as ‘buy, swap and sell sites’ is particularly dangerous because of the large amount of cash involved, which attract hackers.

He added that users are tricked into handing over payment details by the hackers, who then unleash malware attacks upon them to steal their cash.

According to Mellis, another such threat is mobile device malware, specially in smartphones, which are much less protected by anti-virus softwares as compared to computers.

Mellis said that people should explore for more options to secure their phones from such attacks as they access sensitive information while banking, which makes these phones an easy target for cyber criminals.

McEwen and Mellis also outlined other such threats for web users, which included a ‘form-grabbing malware’ that can steal large amounts of personal data.

McEwen said that cybercrime was preventable, if people considered it as serious as crime in the real world, although he added that it may take a long time for people to become technically savvy enough and aware to implement such safety measures.

He also said it is a challenge for law enforcement officials to uncover the crimes going on in the cyber world. (ANI)