Correlation of Hacker's Social Media and Volume of Web Defacements

Blog 28 May 2021
Researchers from Georgia State University found that the increase of social media accounts and usage from hackers is correlated with the increase of web defacement attacks.
banner image

In previous article, we already mentioned that hackers not only do hacking or defacing web, but they also have social media account and post something about defacement that they commit.

It turns out that, nowadays social media platforms could potentially play a key role in serving as a collection source for strategic cyber intelligence.

This potential is arising due to the correlation between hackers' social media account and the volume (also pattern) of web defacement attacks. This finding and insight are released by a researcher team from Georgia State University in the year 2017 titled "On the Relevance of Social Media Platforms in Predicting The Volume and Patterns of Web Defacement Attacks".

In the published paper, the researcher team disclosed that hackers tend to share their defacement works with each other throughout social media account. It also reflects that hackers do learning, practicing, and seeking troubleshoot from other hackers.

Those researchers use hackers’ self-reports over the website Zone-H (http://www.zone-h.org/ ) on web defacement attacks they launched and append with their own data collection from law enforcement agencies’ effort that established these hackers’ use of social media platforms.

The respective researchers also found that hackers' use of social media increases along the way of web defacement attacks volume they generate.

They also discover that among the different social media platforms that are available for hackers to use, Facebook and Twitter are the only two platforms that carry significant effects in the model.

Moreover, upon successfully completing a web defacement attack, a hacker may get the maximum level of attention from other social media users when they post over the social media platforms regarding the attack he completed.

For detecting website defacement incidents as soon as possible, Information Security officers can use SentryPage feature where web owners can be alerted at the time if a defacement attack happens on their website.

Let us inform you further about two (2) features of SentryPage:

  • Website owners can decide on actions such as rollback or restore to backups prior to defacement
  • Detecting offensive word; make user know where the attack location is

We can conclude that there is correlation between hacker's usage of social media and their intention of doing defacement. There will be a potential for social media platforms in playing a key role as information sources for further strategic cyber intelligence.