This past week, I had to provide some opening remarks regarding what we, as law enforcement, can expect will trend in Internet threats in the coming years. Social media as a threat vector is high on that list. Criminals are certainly making very innovative use of social media to conduct their fraudulent activities. Interestingly enough, what works for the criminals also works for law enforcement.
Natural disasters and horrific world events are like racing flags that signals the criminals to create fraudulent websites looking to prey on the emotions of good citizens separating them from their charitable dollars. One article at CSO Online noted that more than 125 domain names were registered within the initial few hours after the Boston marathon bombings. Conversely, as the tragedy unfolded, government and law enforcement used social media to disseminate information to the public and solicit their help. Social media sites are also used to gain information on criminals. By scouring sites, using profiling techniques or covert infiltration, law enforcement officers are able to learn about criminals.