Thoughts on the Meaning of Life… Todd Helmkamp

Warnings About Social Networking Sites

Posted by Vogeler on February 20, 2008

Hey gang,

Many of you use social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace, etc.  Well, I have long maintained (as one who works in the Information Technology field) that, although useful, these sites can be very dangerous.

The danger lies not only in “predators” who seek to lure children and teenagers to their homes for kidnapping or other nefarious schemes, but there are also dangers from hackers.

“Hackers?  How can hackers do anything on these sites?”, I can almost hear some of you saying.

Well, read this article from WebSense Security Labs.  Seems that hackers are posing as third-party application developers for these sites and hiding malicious payloads in these apps.  You click on the link for the app, and voilà: your computer is infected!  This particular baddy is a “keylogger” which records your keystrokes and sends the information back to the “home” computer (the pc the hacker is using).  So, if you enter your bank account info, guess what?  The hacker now has your bank account info.

So, social networking sites are NOT innocent, and great caution needs to be exercised while using them.  Of course, the sites do have their own security team and tools, but you can’t depend on someone else to keep you safe on the web.  Don’t open messages from  people you don’t know (including “friend requests”), try to avoid installing third-party applications, and basically use common sense!  That goes for the rest of the Web, too!


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