In terms of damage to business reputation a social media ‘attack’ is up there with ransomware and denial of service. This is worth a read…:
[…] Pablo Breuer, innovation officer at US Special Operations Command Donovan Group, and David Perlman, researcher at A Social Network, have developed an integrated view of socio-technical systems (STS) to which security principles can be applied. An STS consists of a social network, the population using it, and an output system (political system or economic market, for example) that feels the resulting effects.
In their upcoming Black Hat USA briefing, “Hacking Ten Million Useful Idiots: Online Propaganda as a Socio-Technical Security Project,” Breuer and Perlman will discuss their framework, how security principles apply to STS, how red team and blue team processes could look in the context of STS security, and examples of red team analyses of influence operations.
Breuer explains an example of blue team operations, or how a company could defend themselves from a digital media-based attack. Most companies have some idea of what will happen if they suffer a data breach; however, they aren’t prepared for social media attacks.
He cites an incident the Associated Press handled this past December, when the publication was covering yellow jacket protests in France. One of its stories included an up-close image of a fire. A separate blog obtained pictures the AP had posted in a previous story; those photos also included a fire, but they were panned back so it seemed smaller. The blog’s narrative said the AP had misrepresented the fire’s size with an up-close photograph and not to believe it.
What happened “almost instantly,” Breuer says, is the AP replied with a series of tweets saying both were AP photos but were taken at different times during different events. The publication highlighted aspects of each photo to demonstrate they were from separate occasions.