Facebook users warned of phishing dangers

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Aug 14, 2007

41% happy to hand out personal data to strangers.

Research carried out by Sophos has found that 41% of users of hugely popular social networking site Facebook risk revealing sensitive personal information to total strangers.

The study involved creating a user on the site under the name 'Freddi Staur' (an anagram of 'ID fraudster') and contacting 200 randomly selected members of Facebook's 35-million-strong online community with a 'friend request', to which 87 users responded, many of them revealing email addresses, dates of birth, employment information, home addresses and even phone numbers. Several provided complete resumes, while one even revealed his mother's maiden name. The data thus gained could be invaluable to phishers, identity thieves and other fraudsters.

Sophos suggests that too many Facebook users fail to make use of the security features available, leaving the fairly open default settings unchanged - a Facebook spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal (in an article available to WSJ subscribers here) that only 20% of users change the settings from the defaults. Facebook also insists that it monitors its users' activities and regularly shuts down accounts which appear to be abusing the system to gather potentially sensitive data, including it seems the fake 'Freddi Staur' user.

Details of the study from Sophos are here, and a guide to securing Facebook accounts is also provided, here.

Posted on 14 August 2007 by Virus Bulletin

twitter.png
fb.png
linkedin.png
googleplus.png
reddit.png

 

Latest posts:

Paper: How It Works: Steganography Hides Malware in Image Files

A new paper by CYREN researcher Lordian Mosuela takes a close look at Gatak, or Stegoloader, a piece of malware that was discovered last year and that is controlled via malicious coded embedded in a PNG image, a technique known as steganography.

Paying a malware ransom is bad, but telling people to never do it is unhelpful advice

The current ransomware plague is one of the worst threats the Internet has seen and it is unlikely to go away any time soon. But telling people to never pay the ransom is unhelpful advice.

VB2015 paper: VolatilityBot: Malicious Code Extraction Made by and for Security Researchers

In his VB2015 paper, Martin Korman presented his 'VolatilyBot' tool, which extracts malicious code from packed binaries, leveraging the functionality of the Volatility Framework.

VB2016 programme announced, registration opened

We have announced 37 papers (and four reserve papers) that will be presented at VB2016 in Denver, Colorado, USA in October. Registration for the conference has opened; make sure you register before 1 July to benefit from a 10% early bird discount.

New tool helps ransomware victims indentify the malware family

The people behind the MalwareHunterTeam have released a tool that helps victims of ransomware identify which of more than 50 families has infected their system, something which could help them find a tool to decrypt their files.