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An Overview Of Sock Puppets In Cybersecurity?

By Tom Seest

What Is a Sock Puppet In Cybersecurity?

Sock puppets are fake online accounts created to promote a product or service, spread misinformation, influence opinion, and suppress dissent. They may also be employed by state-sponsored attackers in an effort to discredit one particular viewpoint or group of people.
In cybersecurity, sock puppet accounts are commonly employed by malicious actors and OSINT investigators to gather data on targets. There are two types of sock puppet accounts:

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What Is a Sock Puppet In Cybersecurity?

A sock puppet is an online identity created with the purpose of deception. It may also be referred to as a parody account or avatar. Sockpuppets are frequently employed for mocking other people and sometimes even used against them as weapons.
Sockpuppet accounts tend to have a short life expectancy; most get detected and shut down within a few months of creation. Even experienced sockpuppet hunters make mistakes from time to time.
To create a successful sockpuppet account, it is best to anonymize it so that no trace of your IP address or location is left behind. You can achieve this by connecting to either a VPN or TOR connection when creating the account and then using public Wi-Fi when logging in to it.
Once you create a sockpuppet account, be sure to delete any information that could link it back to you – such as your name, phone number, and email address. Doing this helps prevent organizations, other sockpuppeteers, or sockpuppet hunters from connecting the pet to you.
Another essential step in creating a sockpuppet is selecting the platform. You may need to do some research on which social media platforms are popular in your target country so you can determine where best to begin your sockpuppet project.
Sockpuppet accounts are not always created by malicious actors but may also be created by OSINT (Open Source Intelligence) investigators who need to conduct passive reconnaissance. In some cases, hackers may even use sockpuppet accounts in secret to collect information from a target without their knowledge.

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How Are Sock Puppets Used In Cybersecurity?

Sock puppets are fake identities created by hackers and investigators to gather data. These accounts often include a real name, phone number, address, photographs, credit card number and various social media profiles or friends.
Sock Puppets are essential tools in cybersecurity research as they enable investigators to collect and analyze sensitive information without disclosing their true identity. Furthermore, these accounts can be utilized in social engineering campaigns since they give the investigator a chance to observe how a target would behave online.
These sock puppets can be employed by hackers, investigators, detectives, and journalists to carry out their tasks. Additionally, attackers may use them to extort money from victims.
Proofpoint recently conducted a study that revealed threat actors are using sock puppet email accounts in their phishing attacks. Researchers labeled this technique “multi-persona impersonation” (MPI).
A 2017 paper by Kumar et al., published at the esteemed WWW conference, revealed that sockpuppet accounts often feature high-entropy names and handles such as numbers or random characters. This research suggests this tactic may have been employed by early spam operators to differentiate their accounts from actual users.
It is essential to remember that sockpuppet accounts tend to have a short-lived existence, meaning platforms are usually diligent in catching them after their active period has ended. This makes it harder for hackers to create new sockpuppet accounts and can make it more challenging for investigators to use them as an effective means of gathering and sharing data.
To protect sockpuppet accounts and avoid detection, it is essential to safeguard them by not leaving any personal details. This includes not including friends lists where targets could use these to identify sockpuppets; additionally, making too many comments on forums or websites frequented by the target/s is recommended.

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How Are Sock Puppets Used for Information Collection In Cybersecurity?

Sock puppets in cyber security refer to fake identities used by malicious individuals to deceive others online. Attackers and OSINT investigators frequently employ them in order to collect data on the targets of their investigations as well as spread propaganda.
Sock puppets are an integral component of any cyber security investigation. Unfortunately, creating them can be challenging if the individual responsible is unfamiliar with operating online identities.
An analyst who needs to conduct research anonymously but doesn’t want to reveal their real identity can find this a frustrating dilemma. To circumvent this, many cybersecurity professionals create sock puppet accounts – fictional personas they can use for communication with others without disclosing their true identity.
But it can also be a time-consuming task, particularly if they need to create multiple aliases for their investigative work. One way to expedite this step is using Fake Name Generator – an online free application that creates an entirely new fake identity for a sock puppet account.
Once an account is created, it’s essential to stay abreast of changes on the social media platform so that everything works as expected. This may seem like a daunting task at first glance, but with careful consideration, you’ll soon have created an invaluable sock puppet suitable for various investigations.
To make it harder to link a sock account with its owner’s real-world identity, many attackers create fake e-mail addresses and burner phone numbers. These combinations can be verified and linked back to the sock account through third-party applications like MySudo, which manages multiple online identities.

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How Are Sock Puppets Used for Information Distribution In Cybersecurity?

Sock puppets are becoming an increasingly common tool in cybersecurity to disseminate information to unwitting users. These accounts may be created with the purpose of promoting a certain viewpoint, improving a product’s image or reputation, spreading disinformation, or suppressing dissent.
A sockpuppet account is an online persona created to impersonate another individual on forums, blogs, or chat rooms. These sockpuppets often use false characteristics in order to create the illusion of authenticity in discussions and discredit opponents (Mitew, 2017).
Sockpuppets are becoming an increasingly popular tool to spread information on social media and other platforms. While malicious actors may use them to discredit and suppress dissent, OSINT investigators can benefit by collecting details about their target.
Making a sockpuppet account requires anonymizing it so that it does not track the original IP address of its creator. This can be accomplished by using either a VPN or TOR while creating the account, as well as logging into it from public Wi-Fi networks.
One of the greatest concerns in cyber security is that sockpuppets are vulnerable to hacking, which could allow attackers to obtain personal information about their victims, such as credit cards, passports, and credentials. That’s why having an active backup sock puppet is so critical in order to protect against this potential risk.

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How Are Sock Puppets Used for Social Engineering In Cybersecurity?

Sock puppets are accounts that can be utilized for both ethical and malicious purposes. They have the potential to spread disinformation, attack businesses, and cause financial harm. Furthermore, sock puppets offer an effective way of collecting data about someone or a company without disclosing your true identity.
OSINT researchers may find sock puppets useful in analyzing targets and their connections on social media. It is essential that your sock puppet account remains up-to-date and does not contain any personal details.
To create a sock puppet account, it is necessary to use an anonymizing service like ProtonMail in order to protect your original IP address or location. After creating the account, engage other users as your persona would.
Once you have an account, it is essential to crafting a compelling backstory for your persona. The backstory should outline their roles and where they come from.
Constructing an effective sock puppet requires patience and focus. For instance, make sure your persona has a real personality as well as an engaging sense of humor.
It is essential that your persona has access to the internet and can upload media. Therefore, ensure that your sock puppet account has a stable and reliable internet connection.
Sock puppets can be an invaluable asset for OSINT investigators, but it is essential that they remain well-maintained and do not contain any personal details. Furthermore, these puppets offer insight into a person or company’s connections and interests.

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