First they came for the passwords. Next could be the identity. And not just the top-line stats — but all of it.
In a disquieting new study, researchers have described a sort of reverse CRM tactic, through which stealth hackers could compile a “rich identity profile” about users by analyzing their communications patterns and their activities on social sites.
It might not be the sort of conventional attack that would crash a server or swipe a credit card number, but the researchers describe a subtler, more long-term scheme they describe as “stealing reality.” eCRM Guide takes a look.
A research paper published this week should serve as a wake-up call to those who are particularly fond of social networking sites and therefore make ideal candidates for a new breed of malware that in practice resembles something close to a black-market customer relationship management (CRM) system in reverse.
Titled “Stealing Reality,” the paper (available here in PDF format) was written and researched by academics and communications experts at MIT, Ben Gurion University and Deutsche Telekom Laboratories and uses complex mathematical formulas to demonstrate just how effective a stealth malware attack targeting Internet users’ behavior and communication patterns could be if practitioners were — or already are — willing to be patient and unobtrusive.