Let’s go ahead and call 2010 the “Year of the Facebook Scam.”
That after a new study from information technology and control firm Sophos , which says social networking users — especially Facebook fanatics — are ‘sitting ducks” for cyber thieves.
The 2011 Sophos Security Threat Report survey found that:
- 40% of social networking users quizzed have been sent malware such as worms via social networking sites, a 90% increase since April 2009
- Two thirds (67%) say they have been spammed via social networking sites, more than double the proportion less than two years ago
- 43% have been on the receiving end of phishing attacks, more than double the figure since April 2009
Of particular interest is the topic of allowing access to Facebook in the workplace.
The survey says that about half of U.S. companies grant unrestricted access to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. But 59 percent of social networking users surveyed by Sophos say that employee behavior on social networking sites could jeopardize the company’s network security. Another 57 percent say that fellow workers are sharing too much personal and company information on social networks.
That could make both employees and employers more vulnerable to cyber theft. “Rogue applications, click-jacking, survey scams – all unheard of just a couple of years ago, are now popping up on a daily basis on social networks such as Facebook,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. “Why aren’t Faceboook and other social networks doing more to prevent spam and scams in the first place? People need to be very careful they don’t end up being conned for their personal details, or get tricked into clicking on links that could earn money for cyber criminals or infect innocent computers.”
Survey respondent (82%) clearly maintain that Facebook remains the “biggest risk” to security.
When even the rank and file say that Facebook is a huge threat to their companies, you have to wonder: how long will it take for companies to block Facebook in the name of corporate security?
Image by Franco Bouly, via Flickr
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