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Social Media - a little birdie told me.

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#1 Backupserver.ca


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Posted 15 May 2013 - 12:03 PM

I've been designing a workshop to provide to my clients that will be based on a paper I'm going to write. The paper will be based on a social experiment I'm running. It's basically about trusted relationships and how social engineers manipulate them. Specifically in social media.

I put together this website.


The premise is basically that I've found we're more likely to trust unknown content coming from social media than we are from email. We're trained to not open suspicious documents and such in email because we know they might be viruses. We're quick, however to just click randomly on links we've never heard of if they show up in our facebook feed.

If this link was tied to a status update like:

"IRON MAN 4 PREVIEW LEAKED!" - I'm sure someone would click on it - in this case it's safe but a bad guy could redirect you to something bad. Get it? 

We're more likely to just randomly click stuff based on the trust we have for social media because we apparently know the people posting. What if my account got hacked and the bad guy was posting AS me... there's no way for you to tell.

I'm trying to find a few companies / users who would spread this link on their Facebook pages as part of the experiment - you'd be mentioned in the talk and put on some kind of 'supporters' page if your company can contact me after posting - I'd love to get a screen grab of the post itself...


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#2 AdagioBoognish


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Posted 15 May 2013 - 04:07 PM

Nice! Good luck with your project.


I don't have a Facebook or other social media membership so I'm not entirely aware of the ins and outs, so let me know if I've got this wrong. If you're posting the fake links as a status update then wouldn't only people who were your friends see the fake link and if you're friends than why wouldn't you be inclined to follow the link? It seems like what's causing you to let your guard down is inherent trust between people or businesses you like/associate with and not necessarily cause by social media in general. I guess I just see it as receiving a physical letter or text message from a friend. I'm going to open it without questioning if the item was sent by an impostor, mainly based on the majority of times I've received messages from said friends and have not had issues. If I had been deceived by a particular friend or if the message came from an unknown person, then I would be appropriately more cautious. That's normal social behavior since civilization came into being. Any interaction between members of that society is approached based on previous experience, first hand or otherwise, with that individual or group. I see it as a risk/reward weighed decision. A friend/associate = larger chance of positive outcome. A stranger or unfamiliar association = much higher potential risk.


Lets say you create a bunch of profiles, friend people, and they click your gotcha link. Would you also be sending these people emails from a outside the social media site with the same link? It seems like then you'd be able to confirm wither or not people trust social media more than email. They'd be getting the same link from the same "person", but if more people click the link through their Facebook then I'd see that as starting to prove your assumption.

#3 Rana125


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Posted 26 May 2013 - 08:13 PM

I think you might be on to something with your project. A lot of people would probably click on a link like IRON MAN 4 trailer leaked! from a friend's social media post than an e-mail for the reason you stated. We are more trusting of our friends than suspicious e-mails. You could also look at rumors too in regards to cyber-bullying. I think there's going to be a revamping of the old adage, "Don't believe everything you read," to "Don't believe everything on the internet." I wouldn't be surprised if they started making home decor signs with that phrase on it.


I think we are starting to view Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. accounts as people more than as forms of communication. Yes, people do use them, but are you sure it is the person you know or someone who's hacked into their account? I didn't get a Facebook account until I was 19, just because I wanted to avoid all the drama of High School. When I got to college, I decided to get one to keep in contact with all my friends and family though. It makes it easier and people checked their Facebook more, which means they are more likely to get back with you if you contact them.

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