VeriSign’s iDefense managed security services arm has released new research warning of "exponential" growth in demand for black market data stolen from social networking sites, as criminals internationalise their campaigns.
As an indication of the growth in activity on these sites, iDefense has uncovered evidence of one particular black market forum user, known as ‘kirllos’, who claimed to be selling 1.5 million compromised accounts in bulk quantities.
IDefense highlighted several ways in which cyber criminals use social networking sites to make money, including compromising accounts for money transfer scams, and mining data to set up fraudulent bank and other accounts.
Data mining can also allow criminals to obtain a driving licence, passport or other important form of documentation, said the firm.
"Malware ending up on a corporate network as a result of an employee’s social networking activity could mean loss or corruption of data if stringent IT policies are not in place."