Network attacks on Facebook, Twitter tripled in 2009

A report released today by Sophos entitled "Social Security" reveals some startling information about the number of attacks by viruses and spammers on popular social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.

57% of users reported that they had received spam messages via social networking websites, and 36% said that they had been sent malware, an increase of 70.6% and 69.8% from last year, respectively.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos says that, "Computer users are spending more time on social networks, sharing sensitive and valuable personal information, and hackers have sniffed out where the money is to be made. The dramatic rise in attacks in the last year tells us that social networks and their millions of users have to do more to protect themselves from organized cyber-crime, or risk falling prey to identity theft schemes, scams, and malware attacks."

Survey respondents were also asked which social network they believed posed the biggest security risk, with 60% naming Facebook as the biggest threat. Furthermore, Sophos surveyed over 500 organizations, and discovered that 72% are concerned that employee behavior on social networking sites exposes their businesses to dangerous threats.

With these stats, hopefully computer users will not take their privacy for granted anymore. Online threats are everywhere, and social networking sites need to take notice and implement the necessary changes to make their sites safer.

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6 Comments

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Atlonite said,
I still say the best social networking site i know of is my local pub down the road

This is true. However, the viruses that i could get from that social networking site are much worse than the ones i could get from facebook....

Social networking sites need to educate their users then. This boils down to 'computer illiterate users' making bad decisions on these sites though.

Neoauld said,
Social networking sites need to educate their users then. This boils down to 'computer illiterate users' making bad decisions on these sites though.

That's true, but you can't completely place the sole blame on the users (or the developers for that matter). It's up to sites like Facebook to both create a safe networking environment and educate their users on how to use it properly. Because there can't be a "facebook anti-virus", they have to moderate all 350 million users, which is tough. However, they should have anticipated this and implemented some sort of moderating mechanism. Even a simple reporting system to report these causes would suffice, and there isn't anything like that right now. It needs to start with Facebook, and end with the user.

Edited by TheBossSince88, Feb 2 2010, 1:59am :

TheBossSince88 said,

Even a simple reporting system to report these causes would suffice, and there isn't anything like that right now.

Good idea. That would definately help.