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In the case of Ashley Madison, a fake user might convince an actual user to share compromising information with them.They could then threaten to share this information with a spouse or family member unless money is sent to them.Many online dating profiles are about putting yourself out there in the hopes of connecting with another person on romantic level, or in the case of Ashley Madison, for secret affairs.Either way, this entails revealing certain information upon creation of the account that hackers leverage against legitimate users.This confirmed that someone had deliberately created false accounts. According to Flores, there is the possibility that Ashley Madison did it to create accounts in other countries in order to drive up usage globally.However, the other scenario is that hackers made the accounts for spamming purposes – message boards, for instance, could be inundated with links to malicious websites. Flores also noted that like the Trend Micro honeypots, some of the email addresses that appeared on the Ashley Madison dump list hypothetically could have been lifted from other parts of the Web by spammers.
Honeypots are essentially simulated email accounts designed to lure cyber attacks such as phishing scams.The goal is to keep these attacks away from actual users, mainly because they allow researchers to identify them as cyber threats.The fact that someone was using Trend Micro's honeypots as contact information on Ashley Madison could only mean one thing: that the accounts were fabricated.Hackers will prowl social networks, online forums and gaming websites disguised as an innocent everyday user in search of someone to trick.The end goal could be a phishing scam, theft of a Social Security number, stolen login information, ransomware or something else.