One topic of interest in web privacy involves social engineering SPAM. With more users creating visible profiles for social media, web 2.0, and other web devices, social engineering becomes a real threat to identity theft. With thousands of web bots and web spiders crawling social media and other sites, SPAMers can collect a plethora of information about an individual. For instance, an unprotected Facebook account can provide the individual's email address, birth date, hometown, siblings, parents, relationship status, favorite music, favorite movies and much more. An intelligent SPAMer could collect this information in a database and sell it to telemarketers or worse yet email SPAM to collect usernames and passwords. With the properly written program, a SPAMer could collect a lot of valuable content that could lead to bank accounts, confidential material, and much more.
Unfortunately, many users are not educated enough to identify a SPAM email from a real email. Thus, they email the SPAMer usernames and passwords. Many accounts from financial to email have been hacked using this method. As the number of users grow on the Internet, the number of opportunities increase to exploit the user's private information.
To help combat SPAM, many entities integrate a SPAM filter in their network to block SPAM from reaching their end users. Almost all SPAM filters require an annual maintenance agreement that supplies the entities with frequent upgrades to combat all the new SPAM techniques that pop up every day. In order to ward off the SPAM attacks, SPAM filter companies must create complex algorithms to determine if emails or texts are SPAM or a legitimate message. A research question that has both academic and practitioner merit involves discovering and creating the most effective algorithm for capturing SPAM messages. What is the best way to prevent SPAM from reaching the end users of a network?
Social Engineering: Security Through Education. Retrieved on January 2, 2012 from http://www.social-engineer.org/.