Fake accounts and identity theft attacks targeting celebrities on social media can be used by fraudsters for a variety of illicit purposes ranging from blackmailing to unauthorized advertising.
171 000 000
user profiles on VK were compromised by hackers in 2016
of social media accounts are fake
of users are secured with the “123456” password
stolen social media accounts are returned to their owners by CERT-GIB per month
Brand Protection Case
Ekaterina Mukhina, an editor-in-chief of Elle Russia, is a popular person on Instagram with over 164,000 subscribers. At the end of 2016, cybercriminals compromised her account and extorted money to return control over the profile.
Not only can criminals make discrediting statements acting as a famous person. The main problem is that attackers are not interested in returning control over the account to its real owner. After the ransom is paid, they can continue extorting more money from the victim.
In this case CERT-GIB managed to return control of the account in two days. In some incidents when an account is allegedly hacked by an acquaintance of the victim, Group-IB specialists can also perform an investigation and verify the hypothesis.