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Criminals to Flock on Social Networking Sites in 2008

Cyber criminals are likely to increasingly target social networking sites during the current year 2008, warned security experts.

According to the security experts, as these sites are rather intimate in nature, people willingly share private information, some even being sensitive and confidential in that make users vulnerable to online attacks.

Mary Landesman, Senior Security Researcher at ScanSafe, said that sites for social networking are popular among cyber criminals because the method of operating on them and the add-ons by third-party visitors make it a favorable environment for exploitation and eventual compromise. BBC News published this on January 3, 2008.

Predictions by two web security companies, Websense and Fortinet, suggest that social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook are set to become the next major targets for hacking by cyber fraudsters.

Undoubtedly in 2007, sites like Facebook, MySpace, Orkut and Bebo emerged as big names as hundreds of thousands of people signed up on them and posted information describing themselves and everything they intended to do.

But this year, these sites are likely to become platforms for attacks by hi-tech gangs responsible for most of Internet crime.

According to security companies, several of these kinds of attacks have already occurred on social networking communities.

For instance, Brazilian visitors to Google's Orkut fell victim to attack when a worm on the site infected users' computers and stole their bank account details. In addition to technical vulnerabilities, weakening social networking sites and the valuable personal information of users shared on these sites could be also at risk.

Detica's Head of risk and security, David Porter, exclaimed at the remarkable way people publish information about their private lives such as jobs, hobbies and loves on the social networking sites, revealing the details to the whole world, while they would never tell them to a stranger in person. Such data value immensely to identity thieves, Porter warned. BBC News published this on January 3, 2008.

Security professionals, however, do not discourage using social networking sites as they offer a lot of other advantages to regular users. But a right approach that manages and minimizes risk needs to be adopted.

Related article: Criminals Hack With More Evil Tactics

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