VIP attacks target high-profile individuals like company executives, politicians, and celebrities. For enterprise businesses, executives present a critical target for hackers, usually because they have access to a vast wealth of information. Politicians are commonly targeted by hacktivists and state operators for socio-political reasons. Celebrities, by contrast, are targeted for a multitude of reasons and frequently find themselves subjected to gross invasions of their private lives.

All these VIP attacks have a few things in common. Aside from the obvious fact that they can lead to catastrophic reputational, personal or financial damage, they often take place through vulnerable digital channels. The social networks and mobile technologies we use everyday are part of a constantly expanding attack surface that high-profile targets need to be aware of. Here are five ways hackers target VIPs:

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