Hackers after Gulf LinkedIn accounts
A group of hackers suspected to be based in Iran are using fake LinkedIn profiles to target victims across the Middle East, including the UAE, according to cyber security experts from Dell SecureWorks’ Counter Threat Unit.
The group – which researchers have designated as Threat Group 2889 – has created at least 25 different personas on the popular business-oriented social network, using the photographs of innocent individuals with no connection to the group’s activities. Of these, eight are “leader personas” with extremely detailed profiles, including educational histories, current and previous job descriptions, LinkedIn group memberships, and, in most cases, over 500 followers.
“LinkedIn is fairly well-known and used by most professionals . it’s a sophisticated and well-planned means of social engineering,” said Mark Morland, Dell SecureWork’s Regional Manager for the Middle East. “They’ve created a lot of fairly granular and detailed LinkedIn profiles, and actually having a set of endorsers behind those to enable the profiles to appear as legitimate as possible.
“A lot of these profiles have been created very cleverly from what would appear to be people within the target’s company, or from a recruitment consultant perspective,” Morland added.
“Gaining trust and an initial acceptance of connection has been fairly easy for them.” Details