As social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter become more popular with the public, they also become more popular with internet hackers. Recent studies conducted by Breach Security showed that social networking sites were responsible for at least 19% of internet hack attacks in 2009. Just last week, an employee of Arbor networks, Jose Nazario, discovered an attempt by attackers to use Twitter as a command and control to send instructions to infected computers. Twitter messages are being used to send out new download links, which in turn downloads a password-stealing Trojan known as Infostealer.Bancos.
Aside from Trojan, a popular malware installing virus called Koobface worm continues to wreak havoc on Facebook. A report from Kaspersky Lab shows that these malware attacks are ten times more effective than those sent through email. The important lesson to be learned here is that attackers are going to follow more users as these social network sites continue to grow rapidly. This provides serious risks for users who share too much of their private details out on these sites. Posting information such as home addresses, exact locations, and even telephone numbers are not the smartest things to do when site defenses are potentially so weak.
Companies need to be more vigilant in implementing web application systems and monitoring application activity. Those efforts, combined with users being more careful about the amount of personal information they put about themselves on social networking sites will reduce the risk of more people becoming a victim of one to these hack attacks.