Facebook & Twitter: Most unsafe social networking sites of 2010

Internet Security major PandaLabs published the 2010 Annual Security Report on cyber-crime, cyber-war and cyber-activism. It also shows that Facebook and Twitter are the most unsafe social networking sites.

Facebook & Twitter: Most unsafe social networking sites of 2010Facebook & Twitter: Most unsafe social networking sites of 2010

2010 was the year of social media. It’s not
new, it’s not surprising that stories about the trend of exploiting social media for a range of criminal activities happened in 2010, and the truth is there has been much to talk about in terms of social media and security problems, and in particular related with privacy. Basically, social networks have millions of users who every day, and for many hours a day, interconnect, interact, comment and even, sometimes, use them for work. And this is where the real danger lies: the number of potential victims among social media users has not escaped the attention of cyber-criminals.

The 2010 Annual Security Report of Internet Security major PandaLabs covers an extremely interesting year with regard to cyber-crime, cyber-war and cyber-activism. Besides offering information about the main security holes in Windows and Mac, the 2010 Annual Security Report also covers the most important security incidents affecting the most popular social networking sites. Facebook and Twitter have been most affected, but there have also been attacks on other sites like LinkedIn or Fotolog, for example.

The report also shows that one of the main aims of cyber-criminals has been identity theft. Cyber criminals passing themselves off as friends or contacts of victims, hackers distributing content designed to trick users. Some of the several techniques that the cyber criminals employ to hack Facebook and Twitter include hickjacking Facebook’s ‘Like’ button, stealing identities to send out messages from trusted sources, exploiting vulnerabilities in Twitter to run JavaScript code and distributing fake apps that redirect users to infected sites, among others. If the user clicks the malicious link on Facebook, they are automatically redirected to a page with images and videos about the relevant topic. Once they access it, a reference to that page is immediately displayed in the user’s profile together with the “Like” option and a text not controlled by the user.

This technique, known as ‘clickjacking’, uses a simple application to launch a JavaScript action. Visiting users are tricked into “liking” a page without necessarily realizing that they are recommending it to all of their Facebook friends. The real business stems from the payper- click system, which counts every visit and generates revenue for affiliates, and from the wide range of tests offered to users on these pages, which they have to pay for.

The report also highlighted the fact that last year cyber criminals have created and distributed a third of all existing viruses. That is, in just 12 months, they have created 34 percent of all malware that has ever existed. Trojans rule the roost with 56% followed by viruses and worms at 22% and 10% respectively. Spams have also been a main threat with 85% of email traffic globally being them.
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Tags: social networking, facebook, twitter, cyber criminals, unsafe social networking sites, internet security, pandalabs, clickjacking, facebook like’ button, hack facebook, fake apps, fotolog, linkedin

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