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Facebook eCommerce May Have to Clear Security Obstacle

Malicious Apps Appearing Frequently

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[ Social Media]

Security firm Trend Micro has been researching malicious practices on Facebook, and has discovered numerous rogue apps on the social networking site this week. They’ve been alerting Facebook of them as they find them, but apparently more keep popping up as fast as they are eliminated. Have you experienced security issues on Facebook? Tell us about them.

The apps come cleverly disguised as the most effective phishing attacks do. With all of the apps circulating around Facebook, it’s got to be hard to keep track of what all are legitimate ones anyway. Perhaps even scarier is that some seemingly legitimate apps are possibly being hacked into for malicious intent anyway.

All you can do is be careful where you click, and what info you’re giving away when you do click. Trend Micro offers the following advice:

Always check the URL displayed in your browser’s address bar before entering any sensitive information. Also check the true destination of a link before clicking it, by hovering your mouse pointer over it. If it looks suspicious, don’t click it. Also, if you’re a Facebook user, now would be a good time to go and review your privacy settings and clear out any applications you no longer use.

Malicious Facebook Apps

A report this week from the Web Hacking Incidents Database (WHID) found that 19% of hacking incidents occurred on social networks in the first half of this year. They were the most heavily-targeted vertical.

Perhaps the scariest part of this entire situation is that Facebook has just started allowing developers to sell physical goods through apps. This means, we are likely going to see a lot of businesses selling goods directly on Facebook. This has the potential to be huge for eCommerce, but security concerns are already one obstacle to successful eCommerce on the web in general. The more reports of malicious happenings regarding Facebook, the more scared people will be to buy goods through the network.

Facebook looks to be going after services like PayPal and Google Checkout in time, with regards to what platform consumers choose to pay for online goods. With the number of Facebook users already so large, and growing steadily, they have a viable shot at giving these services a run for their money.

Consider how often people are already logged into Facebook. They’re even taking it with them to other sites via things like Facebook Connect, the Fan Box, etc. There’s good reason for people to want to use Facebook to complete online shopping transactions, strictly from the convenience standpoint.

Trust is another standpoint however. It is good to see that Facebook is responding so quickly to known threats, but something will have to be done to eliminate them, or at least greatly reduce them for Facebook’s payment platform to really take off.

Facebook Payments

For specific details on the malicious Facebook apps themselves, check Trend Micro’s post, which has been continuously updated as more malicious apps have surfaced. Be careful out there.

Do you think online shoppers will be willing to buy goods through Facebook? Share your thoughts.

Facebook eCommerce May Have to Clear Security Obstacle
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  • http://www.3domnistore.com ProLithic

    Sure, I think If a Wanted Item is Posted for sale at a Competitive Price on any network that gets seen, the Item Will be Sold. So a network like FaceBook shouldn’t be any Different, It’d probably be a Benefit to all users, There’s already plenty of other little pop-ups and Google Ads etc. Why Not?

  • Saundra

    Today, for many of us dealing with all the issues that confronts us on a daily basis, convenience is appealing. Also, I think it offers the advantage of a friendly, almost family like environment in which to conduct business. People may buy quicker from those they have met here and have established a rapport with, not to mention family and personal friends.

    Being new to the game, Facebook of course, would have to provide tight security measures that would relieve, as much as humanly possible, consumers fear of providing personal private information online, particularly credit cards. PayPal and Google are pretty well established, yet they have their difficulties.

    Lastly, the people of the US appreciate choices. I would welcome another player to the menu.

  • http://www.rayscustomtackle.com Ray S. (WPN Reader)

    As a web-based small fishing tackle manufacturer and reseller I find the notion of securely selling on Facebook a great opportunity. Like eBay, Overstock, Googlecheckout, and Paypal, and too many other to mention, they all rose to the initial challenges brought by those that bring malice to all great media. These parasites in their own pathetic way are the checks and balances that expose system issues in all new web venues. Not necessarily a terrible bad at first. It is how efficiently and quickly the all-knowing ones sitting in the coachbox at Facebook ( or anywhere else) cope with these challenges that will determine the long term survival of this new experiment. Once the bugs are blocked and screened I definitely will take access to such an opportunity. For now I’ll just watch and listen to see how it all plays out. Best Wishes to Facebook. Thank you WPN for continuing to bring awareness to all.
    Great Fishing, (npi)

    Ray S. Owner, Ray’s Custom Tackle

  • http://www.tendigitgifts.com Ten Digit Creations

    I would hope so. With an up and coming company like Facebook, I would think they would implement the changes needed to make it secure and beneficial to everyone!!

  • http://www.Tribal-Sports-Wear.net Blank T-Shirts Supplier

    Well as with any new shopping site, whether it be facebook or something else. There will always be a security issue, we are talking about money and peoples private information. However I am happy to hear that facebook book has taken the security of their e-commerce seriously before starting anything. That means once it’s up and running, we will have a great and safe place to offer our Blank Hanes T Shirts and other fantastic blank apparel. Thanks facebook, and thanks WPN for the great information!

  • Rene J Hueppi

    I try to stop a campaign which run out of control, but there is no help, just standard answers, what to do, but doesn’t work. I’ll have to advise ISA to re-embourse the weekly amounts between $ 2.- and 34.- !!!

  • Elisabeth Riedl

    Please know I do not wish for any
    offensive commercial videos or other
    kinds of offers on my Facebook.

  • http://officialsafetyandsecurity.com Official Safety and Security

    I use FaceBook mainly to socially market my safety and security web site so selling my products to people there is important to me. Thanks, Chris, for this great information.

  • Guest

    Well. I guess we had to see this comming…

    anytime there is money involved someone will find a way to steal it.

    I am glad to see FB taking the steps to be as secure as possible but even the established big players have issues…

    I for one will be happy to promote my comapny and sell product on FB as soon as it is ready to go.

  • http://www.attorneysokay.com Steve

    Who’d be stupid enough to give facebook (microsoft) your credit card information and store it?

    Or what about, let’s give all the social networks our credit card and bank account information?

    It’s not like we can’t buy the same products for the same price on a site that does not want our personal information to be stored somewhere for “convenience”.

    I prefer using Robo Form to store that kind of information for later use. It’s secure and if you have it stored on a secure jump drive, when you unplug that drive from the USB port, your passwords disappear from your computer until you plug it back in. Also it’s great to use in the same method for public computers (like at the library). It’s as easy as taking your house and car keys with you.

    We need to be more secure, since it’s obvious that the social networks are way behind with security.

  • http://www.digitaldonhill.com/ev Don Hill

    I don’t fully understand why Facebook deems it necessary to take on the headaches of implementing what amounts to an ecommerce platform, including all of the security and liability issues that could (and will) spring up as a result.

    Perhaps they think that their “rake” off of the sales that actually occur will somehow offset the incredible risk and expenditure that will be necessary to ensure the security on both sides of any and every transaction that takes place on their network.

    Ultimately, I believe they may discover that they’ve unleashed the instruments of their own destruction!

    One of the principal reasons that Facebook shot past MySpace in popularity – with millions of MySpace “defectors”moving to Facebook – is that spamming on MySpace had become so widespread that millions of MySpace users just couldn’t stand it anymore!

    If Facebook plans to turn itself into principally an ecommerce platform, they’re likely to trigger a mass migration AWAY from Facebook. If they’re not careful, they may end up cutting off their own nose to spite their face(book)! [groan!]

    Most people don’t join Facebook for commercial purposes. It’s a social network, not an ecommerce network!

    • Chris Crum

      That’s an interesting take on the situation. Hard to say which way it will go at this point, but good point about MySpace.

  • http://www.zygella.com Joe

    I see facebook only as a social and personal tool.

    I would never use it for a business or promoting my business. It is just not the sort of website where I am looking for business, deals or offers from business.

    Also the ads on facebook are just just silly. I completely ignore them.

    Anyway, I love the website so please do not spoil it with ads and making it an e-commerce site.

    That would be a great shame and a big mistake.

    • http://www.dotcominfoway.com/ Teena

      Perhaps the scariest part of this entire situation is that Facebook has just started allowing developers to sell physical goods through apps.

      >>>> Its diverting from the purpose it serves mainly. FB is good as a social networking tool. But FB entry in to eCommerce field is mere going to be false step. Also its important to notice the security privacy policy as money transfers will become a part.

  • http://www.goldcard-shop.com Chris

    Shop with creditcard at goldcard-shop.com is already possible! so why bother , anyone can use all kind of methods as paypal etc, you always find a leak, a hole…

    Wish them good luck
    Pharmacia-nordica.com TEAM

  • http://www.contemposuits.com/falcone-suits.html falcone suits

    facebook is an enormous social network site that can work if you get lucky enough to let the customers do the promotional foot work for you. I don’t think it’s good to do the spam thing on facebook when it’s much easier to let the customers talk for you.

    • http://mosoemosoefoundation.socialgo.com Yuni Elias Waruwu

      Great news, i want to do…………will you to follow them?
      I don’t think it’s good to do the spam thing on facebook when it’s much easier to let the customers talk for you.

  • Davina Bowman

    My Facebook account was hacked into last week. The hackers tried to use the ’419 Scam’ where they nabbed any of my friends that came online through the chat box. They pretended to be me and told all of my friends that I was stranded in Scotland having been held at gunpoint and mugged of all cash and credit cards. They then asked for money so that I could get home. They hacked by means of a Yahoo mailbox mimicking my user name, changing my email address and password. I actually emailed them at this address and asked them what they were playing at scaring all of my friends into thinking I was in trouble. They simply said that they wanted money and that they would restore my account once they had got what they wanted. They were not the brightest bulbs in the box though….when I logged into my husband’s Facebook account they told him the same story, (as if a husband wouldn’t know that his wife was in this situation!!) and asked for $980 so that I could pay my hotel bill and get home. When I asked them why would anyone need dollars in Scotland, they didn’t twig that this would blow their plot completely. This in fact was when my friends realised that it was definetley not me. A really frustrating and worrying situation to be in…I have since closed that account and opened another. In future I will be very careful which applications I use and have also updated my privacy settings for applications. I would suggest that you do the same.

  • http://www.bikeshopcastlehill.com.au Home Solar Power Systems

    Great effort by Trend Micro. Anyway, people do not share your business details. “Prevention is better than cure”

  • Guest

    This is interesting. I question whether security will be any more of an issue here than in other forms of e-commerce. I have a feeling facebook will soon want to take over the revenue stream but in the mean time there are some services looking to make it easy for developers. Here’s one article I found: http://bit.ly/8kLmW6

  • Horace Moning

    Hi i don”t have a website or page how can i still use facebook,warm regards.