How Are The Bad Guys Exploiting Dating Web Sites?

When most people think of malicious hackers such as the black hat types, they usually think of them as people who are smart in technical matters but not so smart when it comes to dealing with people. They get these images from movies and TV and while there may be some people in the field like this, it is not the norm. The fact is, if you have a person who is trying to spread his malware around the world, then he has to be a person who is not just smart in technical matters but also a person who has a bit of psychological and salesmen smarts as well. You can deliver a piece of software to a person but you cannot make them click on it. The bad guys have to know people a little bit to be able to get them to click on the item.

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One of the things about people that you have to know when you are trying to spread your malware is where do people hang out at online. Sure you know that they hang out at places like Facebook and Myspace but there is too much competition there. Your malware links will be one of just many that people there tend to ignore. Some black hat hackers have figured out this problem by going after lesser fruit. They are attacking dating web sites. It is the best place to be able to play with someone’s emotions and getting them to do what you want them to do.

Why are dating sites so vulnerable?

Dating web sites are so vulnerable because of several reasons. The first reason is that no-one there is expecting an attack on their system. When you go to a web site like Facebook or when you check your email, you are constantly warned about bad guys that might try to send you links in those places. When you are on a dating web site the warnings do not come as much. You think that you are there to just have a good time (you bad boys!!) but you must remember to always keep your guard up.

Another reason why a dating web site is so vulnerable is because it is so easy to build a false persona on there. You can claim to be whoever you want and you can get a legion of followers who will trust you. On the web people seem to trust other people a lot quicker than they do offline. So as a bad guy if you get a bunch of people to follow you, and they trust, you can just bide your time and make your move. There are a group of black hat hackers and marketers out there now that pretend to be girls just so they can sign up for sites like these as well as chat sites. They do this so that they can get people to click on their links. A guy will pretend to be a girl online because everyone knows that a pretty girl can get a lot of guys to follow them. It is only a matter of time after the person gets enough followers that they will send them a link with some malicious material on there.

The last reason I will talk about on why dating sites are easy grounds for black hat hackers attacks is because of the emotional attachments that people have towards them. When a person is on a site such as this then that means there is a good chance that they are lonely. If not entirely lonely then they are really looking for someone else. When you have someone on an emotional string like that then you are able to get them to do what you want. Like we discussed before, if you just bide your time then you will be able to get them to click on a link and the hacker will be paid.

Protect yourself on a dating web site

To make sure that you do not fall victim to one of these types of web sites then you must make sure that you protect yourself and listen to your instincts. Do not take for face value that the person’s profile is an exact indication of who they are. Try to talk the person first. Most hackers will not stick around to try and instant message their victims. Just do the best that you can in trying to see if it is a real profile or not. If anything inside of you tells you that the profile is suspicious then listen to it.

Dating web sites are still great places to meet people; you just must remember that you are still on the internet and that you are going to have to be careful.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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