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Online sharing helps hackers sharpen 'spears'

Published on Jul 30, 2013 6:24 AM
 
Sharing on social media helps hackers sharpen "spear phishing" attacks they use to trick their way into computers, security experts said on Monday. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AFP) - Sharing on social media helps hackers sharpen "spear phishing" attacks they use to trick their way into computers, security experts said on Monday.

Spear phishing refers to individualising deceptive messages sent to people in order to trick them into clicking on links or opening files booby-trapped with viruses.

Public posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Foursquare and other online venues give hackers fodder to mimic the way people write and the words they use, said Mr Ulisses Albuquerque of the security firm Trustwave.

"I don't think people have any idea what kind of insight that gives to a potential hacker," Mr Albuquerque told AFP.

 
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