SMB - Experts hammer Web 2.0 security

Security experts fear that social networking sites like Facebook and Linkedln provide both a delivery vehicle for malware and the info to create targeted attacks

Even as social networking darling Facebook prepares a version of its online networking application aimed specifically at enterprise users, legions of security experts are getting behind the idea that the sites represent a serious threat to businesses and other organizations.

From the ability of malware, adware, and spam distributors to use the sites as delivery vehicles for their latest work to the opportunity for cyber-criminals to craft extremely targeted attacks using information garnered from individual profiles posted on pages of Web 2.0 properties, social networking is rapidly becoming a serious pain point, researchers maintain.

Recent examples of malware and adware distribution schemes carried out on the existing services operated by Facebook and MySpace represent merely the tip of the iceberg, they said, with many attackers likely already hard at work creating new methods for duping users of the sites into exposing themselves and the companies that they work for.

"With traditional attacks it was mostly about short-term bets by the attackers, but use of social networking is giving criminals the ability to start running long cons on people through which they can play on people's sympathies to distribute malware or infiltrate an organization to hold data for ransom," said Michael Whitehurst, vice president of global support with Marshal, a maker of Web and e-mail filtering technologies.

"If used correctly social networking can be very effective. Being able to connect with people without going through all the traditional channels has a lot of benefit," he said. "But with the potential for data leakage or targeted attacks, companies are really going to need to police usage and actively scan content coming in and out of these applications."

Other experts pointed to a recent attack carried out over MySpace through which a page on the site was altered to look as if someone visiting the URL was being prompted by their PC to install a Windows update that would instead direct them to a malware-infected Web site once someone clicked on it.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hines

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?