In warfare, nothing is more important than information. If one side uncovers their enemy’s information, they immediately gain an advantage that could be catastrophic to their adversary. This does not just apply to soldiers on the battlefield, however. A person’s information is just as important, even if they are an “Average Joe.” In fact, information plays such a critical role that, in the wrong hands, it could result in life or death.
Brian Krebs, a cybersecurity journalist, had his information exposed and was a victim of a “Swatting” attack. Swatting is when someone that has your information, particularly your address, and calls in a false emergency that requires the response of a SWAT team. While Krebs was safe in the end, some victims of swatting end up being killed. In one instance, a man named Andrew Finch was swatted for getting into an argument in a Call of Duty game and ended up being killed by one of the officers. But how did the people who initiated the swatting get their hands on Finch’s information?
Doxxing is a tactic that cybercriminals use in order to gather and store their target’s information. It can consist of information as general as a person’s name, address, and phone number, but it can also contain niche information, such as where that person attended elementary school. Any and all information that is accessible can be used against a victim of a cyberattack. This information is typically published somewhere that actively engages with exploitation and intimidation. For example, a cybercriminal that has your phone number from a published dox, which is the document containing someone’s personal information, could call you to harass, or even threaten you. As aforementioned, it could also result in much more severe outcomes.
As stated before, information is critical to creating a dox. In order to prevent it from happening to you, there a few steps you can take to ensure that cybercriminals are unable to find a trace of you:
While all of these are great and effective steps, the first one can be done quickly and easily using Redact. With Redact, you can delete thousands of messages on numerous platforms, a lot of which cybercriminals use to gather information for their dox, at the push of a button. Redact is available for download on Windows, MacOS, and Linux at redact.dev/download.