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Social Networking Sites - Next Big Target of Hackers

Two Internet security companies have predicted that hackers are likely to next target social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook.

On November 29 2007, Sunnyvale, California-based Internet security company Fortinet said that hackers could exploit Facebook widgets, small programs that third-party providers create, to spread malicious code to the website users.

Fortinet is the second company that has warned that social networking sites could possibly become the next major field to host hackers' malicious software. The software could be a 'comparison tool', a 'popular books list', or a 'game', said Fortinet's security expert and Chief Marketing Officer, Richard Stiennon. Cbc.ca published Stiennon's statement on November 29, 2007.

The other company, which voiced similar opinion, is Websense. Product Director at Websense, Mark Mutagh, said that the organization is observing too many attacks related to online fraud where hackers are using the social networking websites like YouTube and Facebook to target organizations for attack. CIO reported this on December 1, 2007.

Also, McAfee Inc.'s Avert Labs based in Santa Clara, California, published its top ten malware ist in the second week of November 2007 where it placed the threats from social networking sites and Web 2.0 at the highest rankings.

McAfee said that malware and compromises of MySpace, Monster.com and Salesforce.com among several others describe a new system of attacking social networking sites and online applications, reported Cbc.ca on November 29, 2007.

In October 2007, a similar warning by IDC said that cyber criminals are exploiting social networking and Web 2.0 to launch attacks against companies. Social networking sites, which have gained immeasurable popularity over the past two years, will likely be hackers' targets, it said. News Corp-owned MySpace has around 110 Million users from all over the world while Facebook has 55 Million.

Also, malicious programs are concealed in videos and audios on highly frequented networking websites like YouTube and MySpace. While visitors browse these sites, the malware probably begins to install itself onto their systems. There's an absence of security in these social networking sites, therefore, a demo of the vulnerabilities in the files there enables users to know if their clicks are safe.

Related article: SoCal Computer Hack Traces to Watsonville

» SPAMfighter News - 12/14/2007

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