Facebook and Twitter are Popular among Hackers and Thieves

By Dipankar Das, Gaea News Network
Wednesday, February 3, 2010

cybercrime  IT security firm Sophos revealed Monday in its Security Threat 2010  that Facebook and Tweeter are not only for social networker, it is extensively used by cybercriminals. The survey also said that spamming on social networking sites went up to 70%. 57% of the users said that they have been spammed through social networking sites. 56% of the respondents admitted of receiving Malware through social networking sites.

“Computer users are spending more time on social networks, sharing sensitive and valuable personal information, and hackers have sniffed out where the money is to be made,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. “The dramatic rise in attacks in the last year tells us that social networks and their millions of users have to do more to protect themselves from organized cybercrime or risk falling prey to identity-theft schemes, scams and Malware attacks.”

60% users reported that Facebook is the most dreaded network in terms of security risk and the corresponding number for My Space stands at distant 18%. Cluley also commented that Facebook has 350 million users. So, it is a huge task for security team to manage a site with such a massive audience. Although, they are working hard to counter the threats.

Cluley further said that simple change in Facebook can lower the risk significantly. For example, Facebook asked its users via privacy setting last year to share the information with everybody on the internet. Andrew Storms, director of security operations for nCircle briefed that it is next to impossible task for big corporates to avoid the social networking sites. That’s why companies have to fight and accept the risk. Storms also said that the responsibility of the IT security teams is to educate the users in terms of real life situations.

Additionally, Storms suggested that the existence of social networking sites makes the presence of Malware in a powerful way. If you receive a message from your friend or close one, it doesn’t mean that there is no security threat. You need to think twice before opening the message.

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