Hackers target all major UK banks with new Twitter phishing campaign

Social media phishing campaigns have increasingly become popular among hackers looking to gain access to sensitive user dataReuters

A new active Angler phishing social media scam campaign has been identified by security researchers, which is targeting all major UK banks and their customers. The scam campaign involves hackers creating fake Twitter accounts, posing as customer support staff, in efforts to hoodwink customers into divulging credentials.

In this case, ProofPoint researchers noted that the hackers operating the Angler phishing campaign were monitoring bank customers' accounts on Twitter. They hijacked conversations users attempted to have with genuine support staff of banks, and redirected customers to a fake support page.

For instance, when a customer tweeted to the genuine Barclay's bank support account (@BarclaysUKHelp), hackers hijacked the request of support by replying with a fake customer support account (@BarclaysHelpUK).

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Proofpoint researchers said: "Angler phishing is named after the anglerfish, which uses a glowing lure to bait and eat smaller fish. In this attack, the 'lure' is a fake customer support account that tricks your customers into giving up credentials and other sensitive information."

Social media phishing campaigns have increasingly become popular among hackers looking to gain access to sensitive user data. Proofpoint had previously stated that the firm had seen a 150% rise in social media phishing in 2016. In addition to banks, such campaigns target major brands, especially those that rely heavily on social media to advertise their products and connect with their consumers.

Such phishing campaigns are fairly simple to execute and difficult to defend, especially given that customers are often redirected to authentic seeming fake websites, designed to grab user data when victims unknowingly provide their usernames and passwords.

The fake accounts are generally successful in duping users, especially given that the language and tone used is similar to that of authentic support accounts. Moreover, the fake website is also designed such that it looks similar to authentic login pages commonly used by banks.

"This method of phishing is highly effective because your customers are already expecting a response from your brand. Unfortunately, angler phishing is part of a broader trend in social media fraud," said Proofpoint researchers.

Proofpoint is yet to comment on which banks have been targeted by the attack so far, IBTimes UK has reached out to the firm and will update the article in the event a response is provided.

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