The Issue

GSA Global was asked to do an Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) investigation following a concern that someone impersonating the client had contacted people via email and on fake Instagram accounts offering them discounted photo shoots and explicit photos. The scammer also asked them to wire money into their bank account to take the offer. The client inquired if there was anything the GSA Global could do to help track and stop the imposter.

The Process

During the investigation, GSA Global conducted Digital Footprint monitoring, which enables businesses to locate potential identity and brand impersonation, fraud, or targeted corporate phishing attacks. Keeping track of the digital footprint precursors is key to securing brand assets, and instilling confidence, assurance, and security in clients. By identifying and mitigating initial setup actions before they develop, businesses can protect themselves from malicious impersonation or fraud.

Digital footprint monitoring services periodically monitor for precursors to impersonation or fraud based on defined keywords. These keywords are tailored for each project and will be based on business, brand and individual names, domain names, and other specified areas of interest. When a precursor is discovered, GSA Global will provide guidance and advice on how to confront, take down and halt the use of the precursor in online attacks.

The Recommendations

After a thorough assessment, the client was advised to introduce additional keywords to cover popular brands associated with fashion. They were also urged to review the findings provided in the baseline report to identify genuine accounts and detach them from the active monitoring cycle. GSA Global also recommended adding a warning to the client’s website and social media accounts about the attempts of impersonation and fraud, providing a dedicated email address to flag potential activity. This allowed the company to inform users about the situation while actively monitoring for malicious activity.

The assessment provided the client with a better understanding of how to identify malicious activities and impersonation attempts, and GSA Global was on hand to advise, support and mitigate potential threat vectors throughout the process.

The Result

Following the assessment, the client partnered with GSA Global to implement Digital Footprint monitoring to bolster security on a monthly basis. They have since been able to identify and eliminate several fake accounts on Facebook, Instagram and email, and mitigate repeat attack vectors through frequent monitoring.

Armed with newfound knowledge on digital footprint monitoring, the company to date has not experienced further activity and now opts to leverage the service as a preventative measure rather than a response.

“Working with GSA Global has been a great experience. They have been very thorough and professional in their approach, implementing preventative measures to ensure we are more secure in the future.”