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U.S. Marine Corps Prohibits Access to Social Networking Websites

According to the news published by the SCMagazine on August 4, 2009, an immediate ban has been imposed by the U.S. Marine Corps on using social networking sites, like Twitter, Facebook and MySpace, across the networks of the military branches.

The decision of ban from the U.S. Marine Corps came in wake of continuous malware attacks reported by these sites. The attacks abused the trusted and reliable nature of social networking sites to attract users into clicking links to malicious websites.

In support of its move, the Marine Corps stated in its order that social networking websites usually act as a big haven for malicious content and malware writers. The risk is particularly high due to the user-generated content, information exposure and targeting by scammers.

The order from the Marine Corps also said that the social networking sites unnecessarily divulge details to adversaries, thereby offering them a much easier source of obtaining information. This, in turn, puts communications security as well as operations security at an increased level of risk for hacking.

The ban seems rational as if accessing social networking sites was appearing a threat to security, then it should be the same for other military branches. Experts at security firm Sophos said that in 2009, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have faced attacks which had been especially designed to compromise PCs and steal confidential information.

Around 63% of total 709 system administrators surveyed by Sophos in February 2009 were found worried that their employees were sharing quite a lot of personal information via their social networking profiles and as a result it had elevated risk for their confidential corporate data.

Besides this, criminals are getting increasingly sophisticated in using social networking websites to distribute malware or malicious code.

Patrik Runald, Chief Security Advisor at security firm F-Secure, stated that if a user happens to click a malicious link on Twitter and installs malware on a corporate PC, then it's really unfortunate, reported businessweek.com on August 4, 2009.

Eventually, the security experts noted that once a malware infiltrates a corporate network, it proves really tough to detect it. In fact, on some instances, it can go undetected for several months and thus, resulting in creating security risk.

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