You’ve probably heard, “Celebrities—they’re just like us!” And unfortunately, when it comes to cyber attacks, it’s true. If it makes you feel any better, nobody is safe.
Phishing for fame
Probably the most common hacks we hear about are the celebrities whose electronic accounts are hacked and personal data is stolen. In many cases, their data or personal photos are then leaked to the public. These celebrities fell for phishing emails that convinced them to provide their usernames and passwords to third-party websites—the same classic phishing emails that your employees are falling for.
Hitting their entire network
Hackers don’t only target celebrities; they also hit their networks of friends, family, managers, business team and vendors to get what they need. In December 2016, hackers impersonated an executive at Interscope Records, the record label owned by Universal Music Group, and managed to bypass all the latest in digital defenses with a simple email. The hacker convinced executives to send them Lady Gaga’s stem files—the files used by music engineers and producers for remixing and remastering. Although it is unclear what happened to the files, the incident simply reminds us that intellectual property can be stolen from anyone throughout various stages of an individual’s network.
If you’re rich and famous, hire a cyber-sleuth
Analysts in Europe are urging celebrities, A-listers and business moguls to hire a new team member on their entourage: the cyber-sleuth. This individual’s job is (somewhat) simple: keep embarrassing texts, calls, tweets, inappropriate photos and any other potential reputation-damaging content out of the hands of hackers.
Celebrities, in their own way, are businesses, so they are beginning to understand the importance of hiring cyber security professionals to protect their brand. These professionals may have tasks such as:
- Combing through clients’ smartphones, laptops, tablets, external hard drives and cloud accounts.
- Setting up two-factor authentication (where logging into, say, a Gmail or Twitter account involves filling in a unique code that’s sent to a smartphone).
- Working on complex passwords (and insist on clients using different ones for every account).
- Setting up encrypted email services and install cyber-security software onto their home and work networks.
- Installing tracking software to automatically detect abnormal behavior.
- Adding firewalls to home routers.
What do you think? Celebrities and business moguls are looking for cybersecurity professionals to help them protect their personal brands—is this a role you would be willing to take on?