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New report warns of increasing risk from social networks

01 Mar 2011

According to internet security company Sophos, social networking sites have seen a dramatic increase in spam and fishing attacks over the last year. The Sophos Security Threat Report 2010 (view the PDF at tinyurl.com/4r7ku9f), warns that social networking scams have drastically increased in the last 12 months and pose a threat to consumer and business users alike.The report highlights the common methods used by social network scammers to trick unsuspecting users into compromising their security, including ‘clickjacking’, survey scams and ‘likejacking’ (a variation of clickjacking using Facebook’s ‘like’ functionality).The report revealed that, in 2010, 67% of those surveyed had received spam emails (up from just 33% in 2009), 43% of users had spotted what they believed to be phishing attempts, and 40% of respondents said they had received malware. And the headaches continue for businesses: 57% of businesses surveyed reported that they felt employees may be sharing too much information online; however the paper also indicated that this concern was not reflected in corporate policies. More than half of the companies surveyed imposed no limitations on accessing Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, and less than 25% of firms surveyed completely block these sites.  Other threats highlighted in the report include fake anti-virus software, abuse of search engine optimisation techniques (ie: luring victims to malicious websites using corrupt search results), spam and the Stuxnet worm (a piece of highly targeted malware).