As we’ve reported before, data is big business. Knowing exactly who your customers are, what they’re buying and where they’re buying it is critical for marketers and corporations today. That’s why they’re willing to pay top dollar to companies that extract the most data. Tap or click here to see how Facebook does this.
But just like companies are after your data to sell you things, hackers, cybercriminals and con artists are also eager to know more about you. If a hacker knows your interests and demographic information, it becomes much easier to target you with scams.
That’s exactly what happened recently, when hackers pilfered data from a specific audience. Unlike previous campaigns, this one targets a vulnerable population with ruthless efficiency. Is this a new low for data theft? If not, it’s definitely a close call.
Population targeted by cybercriminals and scammers in data breach
According to reports from Business Insider, a hacker has posted a massive listing of user data on a popular dark web forum dealing in stolen digital goods. Data breaches and underground sales are nothing new, but this incident is unusual in how specific its targets were.
The data was obtained specifically from women’s clothing websites, with all of the data points and account information allegedly belonging to plus-size women. According to the hacker who posted the listing, the goal is to use this data to target plus-size women with phony diet pills and cheap clothing to make a neat profit.
The listing was discovered by researchers at DynaRisk, a cybersecurity firm. They emphasized the unusual nature of this case, and believe it to be a unique instance of hackers targeting a specific part of the population in a malicious way.
The callous discussion of body size and gender by the hacker in question also says a good deal about the types of personalities found in cybercriminal communities. Tap or click here to learn more about the dark web.
Am I at risk of being targeted?
Unlike some data leaks, the stolen information functions more like a mailing list than a database of compromised accounts. The goal of these scammers is to bombard the victims with spam in hopes that someone will feel pressured into taking the bait on a batch of diet pills or pieces of clothing.
These items are counterfeits and quack health solutions, which proves how malicious the people behind the attacks are.
Rather than worry about your account being compromised, keep an eye out for aggressive email campaigns and spam. Never open any emails that come from unknown senders and never open any attachments on any email you’re not 100% sure about.
If these scammers are willing to prey on people in such a cynical way, there’s no doubt they’d employ other sinister methods to earn money. For more information on other online scams to steer clear of this year, tap or click here.