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Asia Witnesses Profound Exploitation of Social-networking Sites

RSA, the security wing of EMC, released its '2010 Global Online Consumer Security Survey' during 3rd week of January 2010. The company queried 4,500 participants out of them 1,000 belonged to 5 Asian countries -China, India, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.

The research emphasizes that cyber attacks, targeting social-networking websites, now account for 20% of the total attacks. This is because these sites have a wide global reach, with massive numbers of people actively using them.

Consequently, the social-networking communities make key targets for cyber criminals who exploit them to steal personal information. For stealing information, these criminals employ social engineering tricks through phishing attacks, malware attacks or user-account hijacks.

86% of Asian respondents in the survey said they were worried about their private data getting stolen or hacked at social-networking sites.

Christopher Young, Senior Vice-President of RSA, also gave his views on the survey outcomes (results) and the way in which cyber criminals manipulated social-networking sites for malware campaigns. He said that the criminals executed social engineering tactics through phishing scams, which were based on current news of important global events, professional athletes, or well-known celebrities, as reported by Siliconindia this on January 20, 2010.

Young further said that people were enticed towards legitimate websites that had been infected by malicious codes and towards bogus news stories that appeared to be from reputable sources. Trojans, disguised as 'necessary' media player updates, were also used that could lead to malware infection on countless computers. While it was hard to stop end-users from accessing the infected sites, it was still possible to safeguard those who did by doing an improved job, Young added.

Moreover, other findings of the research indicate that 94% of respondents from Asia were concerned of similar security infringements on their Internet banking websites. Likewise, 83% of Asian respondents were concerned while on government sites and 92%, while on healthcare portals.

Finally, RSA said that the continuous rise in Internet attacks that grew four-times during 2009, together with low or little user knowledge could prove worrisome in Asia during 2010.

Related article: Asia the new breeding ground for spam

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