Online security firm Impermium has just reported that up to 40% of all social media accounts are created by spammers, and this number has doubled over the last six months. Spammers exploit the sharing features on social networks to spread their wares, and ‘clickjacking’ and ‘likejacking’ are rampant. Facebook describes clickjacking in its help center:
Certain malicious websites contain code that can make your browser take action without your knowledge or consent. For example. clicking on a link on one of these websites might cause the website to be posted to your Facebook profile (timeline). Never click strange links, even if they are from friends. Also be sure to notify the person sending the link if you see something suspicious.
Just a couple of years ago, email was the platform of choice for the peddling of speed-diets, stamina pills, pyramid schemes, money-laundering agreements from Nigeria, gold, diamonds, pornography, “inheritances,” etc. Spam filters in email clients have advanced, and social media sites are a better medium for spreading malicious content regardless. Mark Risher, CEO of Impermium, states, “Social spam can be a lot more effective than e-mail spam – The bad guys are taking to this with great abandon.”
Earlier in the year, Facebook won a suit against a company called Adscend Media, which was actually pulling in about $1.2 million a month via clickjacking tactics alone. Spam is big business, and Impermium points out that a spammer can purchase hundreds of Facebook accounts and a botnet for $99, and that “social spam” is affecting every site on the internet.