Follow Up: Tricks, Trolls, and Securing the Home Worker
In our recent blog about securing home workers, we drew attention to the impact of social engineering and the spread of disinformation campaigns targeting teleworkers. The barrage of information has made it nearly impossible to find needles of truth in haystacks of fake news. While more and more of us have been accustomed to social distancing, we seem less able to put space between us and socially motivated attackers. Pretexts and pretense continue to abound unabated with each daily news cycle and presser, leaving very little recourse for home staffers to reset and refuel. In the previous article, we bemoaned the fact that there is a lack of vendors in the space to help teleworkers or our families defeat disinformation tactics. Online investigative tactician Bellingcat editor Natalia Antonova says we can all assist in this fight to pushback on the disinformation peddlers using a few readily available resources.
Deepfakes and Coronavirus
One way is to help online consumers identify fakes to prevent viral spread. All of us are susceptible according to Antonova. Fakes are exceedingly more difficult to spot in a pandemic because of their ability to normalize disinformation “while helping erode overall trust in government and media institutions.” What’s worse is when this information is weaponized to cause panic and influence behaviors to set aside longstanding social contracts and increase behavior detrimental to society. That said, we are not without recourse. Anatova has gathered a full list for review to do just that – debunk and defeat our online adversaries. Here are a few that stood out for me
- The free Bellingcat Online Investigation Toolkit, put together by Christiaan Triebert. (Not beginner-friendly but a complete resource)
- Aric Toler’s guide to using reverse image search (for vetting recycled pictures online).
- A guide for doing research on TweetDeck culled together by Charlotte Godart
- For Linked OSINT Nathan Patin’s guide to investigating LinkedIn may be just the ticket (by the way, Nathan is an amazing researcher as are all of the Bellingcat staffers. His work is riveting. Read everything he publishes)
Do yourself a favor and read Antonova’s full list of tools and case studies as I think they will prove helpful in keeping you and yours safe online. To see an example of debunking tools and online analysis in action, take a look at how one set of bad actors used WhatsApp to target a Bellingcat staffer with disinformation.
How Lares Can Help
Lares understands how fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) contribute to undue fear and malaise in this digital and financial climate. It is our commitment to arm you with relevant information to protect those most valued assets – our workforce and their families. We are here, accountable, and stand ready to keep the community empowered and enabled to survive the best of adversaries. In turn, the community, the world, your family – could use your help to stem the tide of determined nation-state actors, seizing upon this moment to disrupt our quality of life. Your assistance is needed.
That being said, should you ever need our help, we stand ready.
Mark Arnold has a 15+ cybersecurity career, serving 8 of those years in leadership roles. As a transformational leader, Mark has built security teams and programs, authored maturity model blueprints to optimize risk management processes, and implemented security domain practices at large enterprises and service providers. Mark’s areas of interest include cloud security, threat intelligence, and vulnerability research, nation-state attack methods and related activities (e.g. information operations and disinformation campaigns) and their collective impact on nations and society. Mark recently completed an executive education cohort on the intersection of cybersecurity and technology at Harvard’s Kennedy School.