Handcrafted Fraud and Extortion: Manual Account Hijacking in the Wild
Online accounts are inherently valuable resources — both for the data they contain and the reputation they accrue over time. Unsurprisingly, this value drives criminals to steal, or hijack, such accounts. In this paper we focus on manual account hijacking — account hijacking performed manually by humans instead of botnets. We describe the details of the hijacking workflow: the attack vectors, the exploitation phase, and post-hijacking remediation. Finally we share which defense strategies we found effective at Google to curb manual hijacking.