Welcome to the world Doxxing

Doxxing in general terms means a collection of documents or data of a person and integrating all the pieces of information to turn it into a data weapon. Nowadays, as everything is available online, via social media and various digital platforms, there is no guaranty that all the data related to you will never fall into the hands of online predators (hackers).

The effort to discover and keep a track of personal information of individuals or groups is what doxxing means. To understand it better, let’s go with the below said instance.

Suppose you have cast a ballot in US 2016 Presidential elections and got your child enrolled at the particular public elementary school in September last year. Now, let us assume you have posted a comment on a local news site objecting to institutional racism or have expressed your opinion on what Donald Trump is doing or has done.

Hackers can get hold of such info from various sources and put down all these pieces of information in order to create an outline of your personality, expression, mindset and your whereabouts.
As this is the age of big data, social media, and targeted advertising, the information gathered can be used against you if the situation seems ripe for hackers.

The Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal is just one such event in which we found out that how much personal info is available on the internet and how it is being used by companies to know the opinion of an individual.

As users leave digital traces when registering themselves on one or more than one websites, hackers are seen sniffing out these details and selling them on the dark web for malevolent purposes.

This includes spreading hate content, harassing women in the gaming industry, prank calls to summon police to a politicians’ place, issuing death threats and blackmailing people based on their opinion expressed on social media.

For instance, in the year 2017, almost 17 people who applied for US visas were called by some hackers who somehow got hold of their data and started demanding a ransom in exchange to a visa approval as there were seen posting unlawful posts on their LinkedIn posts against the Trump Administration in the past. As soon as the issue was reported to FBI, it succeeded in tracking down the individuals to South America and nabbed them for legal proceedings.

Thus, it is evident that Doxxing helps in making data a weapon. And so it’s purely up to us on how much we are making ourselves exposed to online services and falling prey to Doxxing predators.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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