Beware of Social Networking Security Threats

According to Facebook, they have seen five different security threats within the past couple weeks. These security threats are attempting to steal the identity of the friends, fans, and other groups within the social networking site.

One of the threats has been named The Koobface Worm. This worm installs malware onto computers of victims who click on links from friends to watch fake YouTube videos. They also are packaging the malware along with many third party applications that are used by Facebook users. They are trying to trick users into giving them their usernames and passwords so they can send more of these links to the friends and groups you are associated with.

This problem is not just restricted to Facebook, as other forms of this worm have been seen on other social networking sites like MySpace among others. These worms will look for the social networking site’s cookies to get your information and allow them access to connect to your machine. Once infected the malicious user can remotely run commands on your machine, slowing it down considerably and allowing them more computation power to do whatever it is they intend on using your machine to accomplish.

Users tend to trust links sent to them by friends and will not think twice about clicking on a link from a good friend. This is where we need to be more careful. Malware authors have copied the ideas from email spamming and manipulated the idea to work on social networking sites. This is not a new idea; it is just being executed on a different medium.

Think twice about applications and links – even if from a friend

Users are warned to be cautious when clicking on links to off site pages unless they can be absolutely positive that the link is genuine and not a threat to you or your friend’s computers. We also need to be careful when downloading new applications for our social networking sites. These applications are developed by third party developers not associated with Facebook, and can package malicious software like the Koobface Worm onto your computer.

My advice would be to think before downloading that new application invite from one of your friend’s. Ask yourself if the application serves a purpose or is it just another pointless application to prove how many friends you have. Keep these things in mind when using popular Social Networking sites like Facebook. By avoiding these ill advised clicks of the mouse your experience will be more about maintaining your relationships and less of a could-be hassle.


For More Information

Read: Facebook’s Application Privacy Policy