There’s a piece by Jim Finkle in Reuters this morning about the rise in cybercrime in social networking sites.¬† The article mentions that MySpace had been plagued by this for several years, but now with the increasing popularity of Facebook, the criminals are going where the game is.
Per the article, “Facebook is the social network du jour. Attackers go where the people go. Always,” said Mary Landesman, a senior researcher at Web security company ScanSafe.
Scammers break into accounts posing as friends of users, sending spam that directs them to websites that steal personal information and spread viruses. Hackers tend to take control of infected PCs for identity theft, spamming and other mischief.“
The good news in this (if you can accept good news in a discussion about cybercrime risks) is two-fold.¬† First, given that the social networking sites are a closed community of users with centrally administered security, it should be an easier task to address these instances when they arise.¬† Secondly, the ways in which users can defend themselves against this is exactly the same as email self defense.¬† That is, don’t open things that come from someone you don’t already know, and don’t open things that seem odd or enticing.
Facebook users should resist the urge to collect friends, and instead concentrate on relationships with people who are known to truly be friends.¬† Users should resist the urge to win the friend-count race, and most of all practice safe surfing just as we’ve been accustomed to do with email and web browsing.