Posting celebratory posts after having vaccinated against Coronavirus could cost you dearly as the hackers and malafide organisations are targeting users who are posting information about their vaccination shot on social media platforms. According to a New York Times report, users who are posting pictures of their vaccination cards which have information such as name, birth date, residence and vaccine type are vulnerable to cyber theft attacks and other scams.
In a statement, the Better Business Bureau was quoted as saying that the vaccine card issued in different countries has full name, birth date along with other information related to the vaccination session which could potentially be exploited by the theft attacks. The bureau further said that those users are particularly more vulnerable who have not kept their social media post settings private.
A similar statement has also been issued by the US Federal Trade Commission which has asked the vaccinated individuals not to put their vaccination card information on social media. One of the Associate Directors of the Federal Trade Commission told the New York Times that hackers can make out most of the digits of the social security number with the credentials like date of birth, name and address.
But isn’t most of the information displayed on the vaccine cards already on various social media platforms like Date of Birth, Name among others? Avivah Litan, a senior analyst at the research firm Gartner pointed out the information displayed on the vaccine cards is anyway in the public domain and most criminals have almost everybody’s first name, last name and date of birth.
How Online tricksters and Scammers work
Scammers instead of collecting the information in one go collect information in a passive, disinterested manner collecting different pieces of information about an individual in a separate stack. Scammers usually are in search of whatever information comes their way about an individual including educational details, vacation plan, spending patterns among others.
Curtis W. Dukes, an executive vice president of the Center for Internet Security told the New York Times that a hacker could take advantage of the vaccine shortage and pose as a government official seeking additional details from the customers via email. Dukes further said that in such a charged atmosphere during the pandemic, people can very well fall in the trap of such fishy emails and part their personal information like credit card number or other sensitive details.
The photographs of vaccination cards can be exploited in other manners as well. According to the New York Times report, fake vaccination cards are being sold in the United Kingdom for as less as $6 dollars to those who need the vaccination card to travel to different places or get a job which has Covid-19 vaccination as an eligibility criteria.