Beware: Phishing and Spam in Social Networks


Trend Micro warns us today about how spam and phishing can hit you even in the closed ecosystem of a social networking system such as Facebook. Malware abounds. And in the social network arena, just like anywhere else, “using your account to send spam” is a common thing for the bad guys to want to do.
In Rik Ferguson’s investigation (which I read about on CNet News), he came across a link to a URL that asked for his Facebook credentials, supposedly necessary to allow installation of a specific Facebook application. Once the credentials were handed over, the app immediately spammed all of his Facebook friends, sending them a bogus notification, attempting to draw them into visiting the phishing/malware URL, with (one assumes) the hope of spreading the infection even wider.
He’s a researcher for Trend Micro, so he knows what he’s doing. But for the rest of us, this highlights how necessary it is to be careful with who you give your usernames and passwords to. In my opinion, it’s never safe to take your username and password from one site and hand it over to another site. Some social networking make the problem even worse by blurring the lines between safe and unsafe by asking for usernames and passwords to third party accounts, but you just can never know with 100% certainty which sites are legitimate and which ones aren’t.
— Al Iverson

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