Top Social Media Hacking Statistics & Trends for 2024

Social Media Hacking Statistics Is Your Business at Risk

Nearly five billion people have at least one social media account. This means more than half of the world’s population is at risk of having their social media accounts hacked. With billions of social media accounts to choose from, cybercriminals are having a field day comprising social media and using them to their advantage. 

To better understand how to protect social media accounts, we must first understand how prevalent social media hacking is, why they are targeted, who is behind these attacks, and their impact.  

The best way to intimately understand this attack is by letting the numbers tell the story as we dive into these insightful social media hacking statistics. 

Social Media Attacks Trends

Social media hacking is so commonplace that two out of every five Americans have had at least one account hacked. Considering how easy it is, it’s no surprise that so many Americans worry about their social media accounts being compromised. The ease of social media hacking makes it one of the most en-vogue ways to attack a victim. 

Here is the picture social media hacking statistics paint about the latest social media attack trends. 

1. In September of 2021, a web scraper on a popular dark web hacking forum attempted to sell the personal data stolen from 1.5 billion Facebook accounts; if the claim is true this would make it the largest Facebook dump in history.   

Social Media Attacks Trends

2. In 2018 at least 30 million Facebook accounts were hacked in a single data breach.

3. On average 1.4 billion social media accounts are hacked every month, that number will continue to rise as more and more people create social media accounts.  

4. From 2021-2022 the number of social media accounts that were hijacked saw an increase of 1,000%. 

5. A Google report found that 20% of social media accounts will be compromised at some point.

Who Are the Targets

As the social media hacking statistics will show, anyone can be a target for any reason. Multibillion-dollar corporations can be attacked as well as individuals with modest incomes. 

Regardless of who you are, what platform you use, or how much money you have, you can be a target. 

The Most Attacked Socia Media Platforms

6. Knowing exactly how many accounts are compromised is difficult; however, according to Google searches, thus far this year on average, 68,000 users have queried Google every month for information regarding how to remedy their Facebook being hacked.

7. Instagram has tallied 36,000 queries a month regarding information on how to recover a hacked account.

The Most Attacked Socia Media Platforms

8. In April of 2021, 530 million Facebook accounts were compromised, exposing the names, phone numbers, account names, and passwords of Facebook users.

9. A Google study found that 65% of people use the same password for various accounts. 

10. April of 2021 was also a bad month for LinkedIn, as the employment social media platform saw hackers scrape data from over 750 million users (93% of total users), resulting in the exposure of client phone numbers, emails, usernames, genders, geolocation records and more. 

11. 300,000 Facebook accounts are hacked every single day. 

12. Four out of 10 people were victims of a social media fraud attack in 2021. 

13. 85% of Instagram users have had their account compromised, while 25% of total Facebook accounts have been hijacked. 

Top Industries Targeted 

14. Attacks in the healthcare industry can be incredibly lucrative, which is why in the last three years, 90% of all healthcare organizations have reported at least one security breach.  

15. Government agencies are often targeted for cyber attacks (several agencies were hacked in June of 2023); however, social media isn’t a common attack vector

16. On average, major corporations can expect black hat hackers to attempt to hack their corporate social media accounts 30 times a year. 

17. In 2020, Twitter admitted to at least 130 high-profile accounts being compromised, from business tycoons to politicians. 

18. 26% of social media hacking victims are repeat victims

19. 50,000 Instagram creators were hacked in 2022, with an attack being carried out on an influencer every 10 minutes. 

Who Are Committing These Attacks

It’s not always easy to identify where a social media attack originated from. Most social media attacks are targeted at individuals who don’t have the ability to investigate where the attack originated. While social media companies investigate, identifying where each individual attack would overburden their resources. 

For the most part, cyber attacks come from the usual suspects, but some culprits may surprise you. 

20. In 2021, the top 10 countries where the most cyber attacks originated from included China and Russia, but also a number of perhaps surprising countries, included Brazil, Vietnam, and the Netherlands.

Who Are Committing These Attacks

Cost of Purchasing a Hacked Social Media Account

21. A 2022 Whizcase study found that various social media accounts can be purchased on the dark web for as little as $6 for a Reddit account and as expensive as a $45 LinkedIn account. 

22. These hacked accounts will then be used to sell follows and retweets; 1,000 Instagram followers can be purchased for as little as $6. 

23. A Telegram channel on the black market wanted $50 for 100 fake Facebook support email addresses but offered discounts to those from China, Vietnam, Indonesia, or Thailand. 

24. User cookies from US users which can then be used to access social media accounts are being purchased for as little as $80 for 1,000 cookies. 

Cost of Purchasing a Hacked Social Media Account

25. 98% of cyberattacks rely on some form of social engineering to compromise their target. 

Impact of the Attacks

The hacking of a social media account can have an impact on various aspects of one’s business and personal life. There may be a financial impact as well as a loss of respect. 

26. $3.25 billion dollars were lost on account of attacks on social media platforms. 

27. Meta, the largest social media company on the planet has little to no customer support department (according to the Washington Post), leading to only a small percentage of its three billion users ever recovering their accounts after an attack.

28. With accounts being so difficult to recover, cyber security companies have even begun offering services to help clients work with Social Media platforms to help recover their accounts. 

29. 11% of social media users are so fearful of an attack/privacy concerns that they have deleted their accounts altogether. 

30. In 2021 a total of 95,000 Americans reported losing money via a social media scam resulting in a loss of more than $770 million. 

31. On July 15, 2020, 130 high-profile Twitter users had their accounts compromised and used to promote a Bitcoin scam. Users such as Apple, Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Kim Kardashian, and Warren Buffet were among those hacked. 

32. EHF founder Vitalik Buterin’s Twitter account was hacked, resulting in $700k being sent to a fake link the hacker posted on his account. 

Impact of the Attacks

33. The UK’s Metro Bank had its stock dip 11% after a string of fake posts about the company’s financial struggle were posted by compromised social media accounts. 

34. Lucretia Groce, an influencer from Massachusettes, missed out on $18,000 after her account was hacked and subsequently locked. 

35. Meta was fined $265 million for failing to prevent a data breach that impacted 533 million users. 

36. As a result of the rise of social media hacking, companies that offer cyber insurance, such as HSB and Waffle are now extending coverage to cover clients that have had their social media account(s) compromised. 

Notable Social Media Attacks

It can be difficult to imagine how social media hacking and scams take place. Let's dive into three recent cases to give you an up-close look at how social media hacking takes place. 

Former NBA Employee Airs Grievances

In August, the National Basketball Association (NBA) had their account briefly taken over by a disgruntled former employee. 

Despite resigning, a former employee still had access to the NBA’s official Facebook account. This employee hijacked the NBA’s social media platform to broadcast the NBA’s mistreatment of its social media employees. 

This NBA insider wrote on the FB post that NBA social media employees are underpaid, overworked, and exploited. 

The post was taken down 20 minutes after it went live. 

Donald Trump Jr. Has Twitter Account Hacked

On September 20, 2023, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that his father, Donald Trump, had passed away and that he would be running for president. 

Just minutes after posting, the tweet had been shared thousands of times and viewed by hundreds of thousands of users. Other tweets insulted Biden and threatened North Korea. 

Soon after these tweets were posted, Trump Jr.’s spokesperson announced that his account had been hacked, but not before causing quite a stir. 

This isn’t the first time a high-profile account has been hacked. In the past few years, Barack Obama, Jeff Bezos, Joe Biden, and even the current owner himself, Elon Musk, have all had their Twitter, (now known as X) accounts hacked.

Small Business Owner Hacked

Mary Fredette has over 300,000 Facebook followers. 

Companies send her products, she promotes them to her massive following, and she gets paid. It’s a simple job, but one that became much more complicated when her Facebook was recently hacked. 

In early 2023 she received an email saying she had been removed as the manager of her own Facebook page. She contacted Meta (who she also does contract work for) yet never heard back. All the while hackers were posting ads on her page as well as photos of scantily clad women. 

Ultimately Fredette regained access to her account but no longer has sole access. She is currently sharing access with the hackers.

Conclusion

Compromising a social media account or company is an attractive prospect for hackers. 

The data they gain access to is highly valuable and can be used in various ways. Victims can be blackmailed, tricked into sending money, have their accounts held hostage, or have their accounts used to scam others. 

With so many individuals having multiple social media accounts, attackers have a massive attack surface to work with. 

Thirty-seven percent of Americans have had at least one social media account hacked. That number is only expected to rise as more and more people sign up for social media platforms. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Sources:

  1. AP News. Is it love? Maybe not, as romance scams proliferate. Article. 2019.
  2. Axios. Breaking down North Korea's advancing cyber prowess. Article. 2023.
  3. Blackberry. The Top 10 Countries Most Targeted by Cyberattacks. Article. 2023.
  4. CNN. Donald Trump Jr.’s X account was hacked, his spokesman says. Article. 2023.
  5. CNN. Twitter blames ‘coordinated’ attack on its systems for hack of Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Bill Gates and others. Article. 2020.
  6. Demand Sage. 69+ Fake News Statistics Revealed For 2023 (Updated). Article. 2023.
  7. Digital Information World. Analysis. The most frequently compromised websites are Facebook and Instagram. Article. 2023.
  8. Enzoic. 8 Scary Statistics about the Password Reuse Problem. Article. 2023.
  9. Federal Trade Comission. Social media a gold mine for scammers in 2021. Article. 2023.
  10. Forbes. Meta Fined For 2021 Data Breach As Millions Of Twitter Users’ Data Also Leaked. Article. 2022.
  11. Gitnum. Social Media Hacking Statistics 2023: Trends And The Future Perspectives. Article. 2023.
  12. Hackread. ETH Founder Vitalik Buterin’s X (Twitter) Hacked, $700k Stolen. Article. 2023.
  13. Increditools. 9 Key Social Media Hacking Statistics in 2023. Article. 2023.
  14. NBC News. U.S. government says several agencies hacked as part of a broader cyberattack. Article. 2023.
  15. NJ.com. NBA Social media account gets hacked, blasts league. Article. 2023.
  16. NordVPN. Fears over social media hacking are rising: How to keep your accounts safe. Article. 2022.
  17. Notch. How Instagram accounts get hacked: 6 tactics used by hackers. Article. 2022.
  18. PC Mag. Here's How Much Your Social Media Accounts Cost on the Dark Web. Article. 2022.
  19. Privacy Affairs. Web Scrapers Claim to Possess and Sell Personal Data on 1.5 Billion Facebook Users on a Hacker Forum. Article. 2022.
  20. Security Intelligence. How much is the U.S. investing in cyber (and is it enough)?. Article. 2023.
  21. SNM. Facebook Is Most Hacked Website, Plus Other Top Exposed Companies. Article. 2023.
  22. Statistica. Misinformation on social media - Statistics & Facts. Article. 2022.
  23. UpGuard. Biggest Data Breakes In US History. Article.  2023.
  24. University of Exter. Fake News: Consequences of fake news. Article. 2022.
  25. Vox. The anatomy of a Facebook account heist. Article. 2023.
  26. Waffle. Does cyber insurance protect my social media accounts?. Article. 2023.
  27. WRTV. Hackers target social media pages with large followings, Facebook users frustrated with Meta’s response. Article. 2023.
  28. ZeroFox. How Often Are Social Media Accounts Hacked? Article. 2021.

Level Up in Cyber Security: Join Our Membership Today!

vip cta image
vip cta details
  • Spencer Abel

    Spencer is part cyber security professional and part content writer. He specializes in helping those attempting to pivot into the vast and always-changing world of cyber security by making complex topics fun and palatable. Connect with him over at LinkedIn to stay up-to-date with his latest content.

  • Dennis Yarnell says:

    A friend of mine has a record and she is a convicted felon. Someone had hacked her Facebook account now. They’re trying to lock her up for receiving money on false pretenses, which she never even seen no money, never heard her no money until she sent it on Facebook. What is she to do? They’re going to arrest her. And she’s facing 10 years for a $100. Facebook will not get ahold of her or anything. She’s been trying for months to get this straightened out.

  • >