Fraud Management & Cybercrime , Social Engineering

How Account Takeovers Subvert Victims' Social Networks

Agari's Markus Jakobsson Describes Account Takeover Defenses
Markus Jakobsson, chief scientist, Agari

Phishing attacks, spoofing someone's email address or phone number, and running CEO fraud scams - aka business email compromise - are typically not technically sophisticated attacks. But attackers rarely bother with technical sophistication when easy social engineering schemes, such as "hacking" a victim's social network and using it against them, can give them what they want, says Markus Jakobsson, chief scientist at the cybersecurity firm Agari.

See Also: NHS Ransomware Attack: Healthcare Industry Infrastructures Are Critical

And it should come as no surprise, he says, that account takeover attacks, in particular, have been increasing as attackers double down on low-cost, high-impact strategies for perpetrating fraud.

In a video interview at RSA Conference 2018, Jakobsson discusses:

  • The rise of account takeover incidents;
  • Why attackers favor account takeovers;
  • Examples of how these attacks are launched and why they can be so successful.

Jakobsson is chief scientist at Agari, CTO of ZapFraud and a technical advisory board member for Stealth Security. He has more than 20 years of experience as a security researcher and scientist studying phishing, crimeware and mobile security at such organizations as PayPal, Palo Alto Research Center - PARC - and RSA Security.

About the Author

Mathew J. Schwartz

Mathew J. Schwartz

Executive Editor, DataBreachToday & Europe, ISMG

Schwartz is an award-winning journalist with two decades of experience in magazines, newspapers and electronic media. He has covered the information security and privacy sector throughout his career. Before joining Information Security Media Group in 2014, where he now serves as the executive editor, DataBreachToday and for European news coverage, Schwartz was the information security beat reporter for InformationWeek and a frequent contributor to DarkReading, among other publications. He lives in Scotland.

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