Disrupting Brand Abuse: AC Milan Spotlight

5 minute read

Brand abuse can take many forms, and hackers often leverage several platforms to conduct broad-scale campaigns. Threat actors are able to reach followers and exploit inherent trust by masking themselves as a trusted brand or public figures. Media, sports, and entertainment organizations rely heavily on these public platforms to engage followers, promote content and grow online communities. The use of these platforms has created a massive public attack surface that puts entertainers, VIPs, proprietary content, and fans at risk. In particular, VIPs and other high-profile talent are targeted with impersonations, brand abuse, account hacking, reputational damage, and executive threats.

It is the combination of these tactics that have created unique and persistent problems for this industry. The frequency, location, and sophistication of these impersonations make it difficult for security teams to tackle alone. We will review brand abuse risks specific to the sports and entertainment industry and how ZeroFox protects customers like AC Milan in disrupting them.

AC Milan’s Unique Industry Challenges 

Over the years, ZeroFox has observed trends towards more sophisticated threat campaigns that rely on a combination of look-a-like domains, fake accounts on social media, fraudulent mobile apps, and phony customer support services. As brand abuse tactics become increasingly complex, this has opened the door for specialization and created ripe opportunities for threat actors. 

Media, sports, and entertainment organizations have a massive footprint on social media and external digital platforms. Typically, this footprint is protected by manual controls or remains entirely ungoverned and unmonitored. Lack of security here exposes organizations and their customers to scams, impersonation accounts, reputational risks, account hijacking, and other VIP, talent, and executive threats. With so many affiliates online and so much spent on social media branding and community growth, organizations seek to protect that critical investment. Still, it can be difficult for security teams to know where to focus their efforts.

Top Risks to the Media, Sports and Entertainment Industry

Being a globally-recognized public figure, AC Milan often faced the challenge of managing and mitigating threats for top executives and key players on social media. The security team was encumbered with manual search and remediation for new impersonated accounts and counterfeit tickets being sold online that were created to deceive their loyal fans. They needed a detection and takedown system for emerging impersonated accounts and brand abuse that were posing as key executives and top players, as well as counterfeit goods for sale. Additionally, they looked to ZeroFox to perform automated remediation efforts on threats emerging on their social media pages.

Entertainment Industry Top Use Cases

The ZeroFox Solution

ZeroFox provides media, sports, and entertainment organizations with the visibility and disruption kit necessary to secure customers, brands, VIPs and executives from social media and digital risks. The ZeroFox Platform leverages diverse data sources, artificial intelligence-based analysis, customizable FoxScripts, and automated remediation to allow security teams to tackle emerging brand, cyber, and physical risks at scale.

Since AC Milan reached out, ZeroFox has processed over 2,953 takedowns and is now a long-standing provider for the organization against brand abuse. They have found the platform detection of threats and Takedown-as-a-ServiceTM to be a critical asset in their security toolbelt. Remediation used to heavily impact the security team at AC Milan, but now ZeroFox analysts use tried-and-true processes to quickly take down threats on their behalf. The security team is no longer burdened by the arduous task of manually searching for and remediating impersonations, and counterfeit goods. This has enabled their team to focus on other security priorities without worrying about a malicious attack on their company going viral on social media. 

“Using ZeroFox is like having insurance in case of an accident,” Luca Colombo explains. “If followers start getting requests from fake profiles or property, I have a tool I can quickly use to solve the problem.”

This sports team and entertainment venue are liberated of arduous, manual threat detection and remediation efforts thanks to digital risk protection.

Equip Your Security Team Against Brand Abuse

ZeroFox monitors, alerts and remediates targeted digital attacks against your brands and executives, working on your behalf to disrupt potential illegally shared media or targeted VIP threats before they reach your fanbase. Our expert analysts take swift action to remove fraudulent activity and offensive content, safeguarding consumers and VIPs from potentially dangerous links and materials and preserving the brand’s reputation and hard-earned revenue.

If you are interested in a more in-depth look at impersonation attack examples and techniques, download the ZeroFox whitepaper on brand abuse here. To learn more about ZeroFox’s impersonation detection and remediation capabilities, check out our webpage here.

We were finding thousands of fake accounts on social media, which is very difficult to do by hand. ZeroFox has been a great tool in helping us identify and take down these accounts before they’re even noticed online.

Luca Colombo, Digital Strategist, AC Milan

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