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Cybercriminals Fabricating Clone Social Networking Sites

The results of the latest research of Websense Inc. highlights that the increasing trend of cloning the domain names among criminals seeks to exploit large number of social networking users.

According to security experts, criminals are extensively making use of domain names involving words such as Twitter, MySpace and Facebook, which are not at all connected to the legitimate sites. In this way, they try to lure unaware users to visit fraudulent websites and trick them into giving off their personal and confidential information or downloading malicious content. The spoof sites fabricated by spammers resemble the login screens of authentic social networking sites looking to obtain the passwords and usernames.

In fact, in a research sample from Websense over 200,000 fake copycat sites were revealed of using terms like Twitter, MySpace and Facebook in the URL. Some of the examples include buy.viagra.twitter.1234.com, hotbabesofmyspace999.com and unblock.facebookproxy.com. These were not simply sample sites, but resembled the sites detected by researchers.

Besides, the revolution of Web 2.0 has led to ripples of new Web content. In fact the wave is not just restricted to Web 2.0 domains, but the complete Internet profile has experienced the transformation. However, Web 2.0 domains are comparatively easy to target as they include the string from parent domain, such as Twitter, MySpace and Facebook.

According to security experts, scammers are taking the advantage of tremendous rise in the number of users of social network sites. Particularly, 276% growth in the use of Facebook among the users of 35-54 years in the last six months made Facebook the most commonly used domain to dodge the users. During the course of research, over 150,000 fake URLs using the name of Facebook were detected. The fake URLs exploiting the name of MySpace were only slightly ahead of that of the Facebook whereas Twitter is lagging significantly behind.

Social networking websites are gaining increasing popularity with the growing number of employees depending on these sites to get in touch with their business associates, colleagues and friends. A recently conducted survey by the security firm Sophos highlights that 63% system administrators are worried that the employees sharing their personal details on the social networking sites more often will pose a great threat to the security of their IT infrastructure."

Related article: Cheburgen.a: A New Email Worm

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