Cybercriminals are increasingly exploiting popular platforms like Airbnb for fraudulent activities. With over 7 million global listings, Airbnb’s popularity has made it vulnerable to cybercriminals, fraudulent hosts, fake accounts, and other scams. Criminals employ malicious software known as “stealers” to obtain usernames, passwords, and even cookies, which are then sold or used for unauthorized actions.
Stealers infiltrate devices and transmit stolen data to attackers, who can then gain temporary access to Airbnb accounts without needing usernames and passwords. This illicit access allows them to impersonate real users, book properties, or perform other unauthorized actions without raising any alerts. However, most session cookies expire quickly, requiring cybercriminals to act fast.
Once cybercriminals gain access to user account information or obtain stolen cookies, they often profit by selling the compromised information directly to other cybercriminals or by offering discounted services to buyers. The scale of Airbnb account theft is so significant that attackers sell “account checkers,” automated programs that rapidly test Airbnb accounts located in a text file, and offer services that provide up to a 50% discount on Airbnb bookings.
In conclusion, cybercriminals have discovered various methods to exploit Airbnb by using stealers and stolen cookies to gain unauthorized access to user accounts. The compromised information is then sold to other cybercriminals or used to offer discounted services to buyers. It is essential to be aware of the risks and take necessary precautions to protect personal information from such cyber threats.