Social Networking Sites Attractive To Scammers

    January 3, 2008

Social networks are set to become targets of cyber criminals in the coming year according to security experts.

Experts in the field say that the intimate nature of the sites makes people willing to share personal information and become more vulnerable to attacks.


Senior security researcher at ScanSafe Mary Landesman said that social networking sites are popular with fraudsters because "the technologies that play there and the third party add-ons make it an environment that is acceptable to compromise", the BBC reports.

Brazilian users of Google’s Orkut were subjected to an attack by a worm that attempted to steal bank account information. Besides technical vulnerabilities that social networking sites can be susceptible to, the amount of personal information that users share with others can be a risk.

David Porter, head of security and risk at Detica said, "It is remarkable that people use social networking websites to publish details about their lives, loves, jobs and hobbies to the entire world that they would not dream of sharing with a stranger in a bar. Such data is invaluable to identity fraudsters."

Paul King, senior security advisor for Cisco said people should still use social networking sites for their benefits and that "It’s about trying to manage risk rather than avoid risk."