LinkedIn scammers step up sophistication of online attacks

LinkedIn has been hit by a rise in sophisticated recruiting scams as fraudsters seek to cash in on the trend of remote working and widespread layoffs in the tech industry.

Job seekers from the world’s largest professional network are being cheated out of money after participating in fake recruitment processes set up by scammers posing as employers, before obtaining personal information and financial.

“There is definitely an increase in attack sophistication and intelligence,” Oscar Rodriguez, vice president of product management at LinkedIn, told the Financial Times.

The platform has sought to block tens of millions of fake accounts in recent months, as regulators warn of a spike in job-related frauds.

LinkedIn scams are increasingly becoming more popular among cybercriminals and victims tend not to associate the platform with phishing attacks. With the recent layoffs in the technology industry, fraudsters have naturally pounced on this to take advantage of those in need. Algorithms created to alert officials of improper use and fake accounts are increasingly outwitted by those set out to circumnavigate these signs with human and bot activity designed to fool the system.

Also nation state threat actors took note and we’ve seen LinkedIn being abused not only for monetary gains. For instance the hacker group Lazarus, which US claims is allegedly linked to North Korea, used the platform for social engineering in their recent cyber-espionage operations against the European defense sector.

 Jobseekers therefore need to make sure they are speaking to the right people on platforms such as LinkedIn and carry out full due diligence before handing over personal or even financial details. Although it may look and feel genuine, fake accounts are increasingly looking more convincing which forces people to be more vigilant.

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