Computer Crime Research Center


Net criminals to target social networking sites in 2008

Date: January 04, 2008

Cyber criminals are set to target social networking sites over the coming year, security firms have warned.

Professionals in the field suggest that the intimate nature of such sites makes users more willing to share personal information and, consequently, more vulnerable to attacks.

Senior security researcher at ScanSafe Mary Landesman stated that social networking sites are attractive to scammers because "the technologies that play there and the third party add-ons make it an environment that is susceptible to compromise", the BBC reports.

According to the corporation, there have already been a number of such attacks perpetrated on social networks.

For example, Brazilian users of Google's Orkut - a networking and discussion site - were recently subjected to a threat caused by a worm that tried to steal bank account details.

As well as the technical vulnerabilities that social networking sites are susceptible to, the amount of information that individuals willingly share with others is also described as problematic.

Commenting on the issue, David Porter, head of security and risk at business and technology consulting firm Detica, stated: "It is remarkable that people use social networking websites to publish details about their lives, loves, jobs and hobbies to the entire world ... Such data is invaluable to identity fraudsters."

In a BBC article yesterday, Paul Henry, vice president of technology evangelism at security solutions provider Secure Computing, stated that 2007 saw high-tech crime become firmly entrenched.

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