Social Networking Websites Face Bigger Threats From Cyberattacks

With a large number of businesses permitting the use of social networking sites at work, cyber attacks on these platforms have soared exponentially in the past few months or so, according to an IT security vendor.

A recent poll by Sophos has revealed that the organisations are becoming more and more concerned about malware and spam attacks pertaining to the increasing use of social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, by employees these days either at their workplace or on business PCs.

As many as 57 percent of more than 500 IT professionals surveyed claimed to have been targeted by spam attacks through social networking sites, while 36 percent reported of malware attacks during the last year.

A massive 72 percent of the IT professionals surveyed asserted they were wary that their employees’ behaviour on social networking sites would put their organisations at the risk of increased spam and malware intrusions.

However, 49 percent of the organisations allow for an unrestricted use of Facebook to its employees, an increase by 13 percent over the past year.

The security report from Sophos, titled “Social Security”, has coincidentally emerged with the beginning of Scams Awareness Week backed by the UK Office of Fair Trading.

Furthermore, when the respondents were asked about the social networking site they considered the riskiest, around 60 percent of them named Facebook.

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“The dramatic rise in attacks in the last year tells us that social networks and their millions of users have to do more to protect themselves from organized cybercrime, or risk falling prey to identity theft schemes, scams, and malware attacks”, said Graham Cluley, a senior analyst with Sophos.

Related Links

Network Attacks on Facebook, Twitter Tripled in 2009

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Facebook Privacy, Security Fears Grow with Social Network Risks


Attacks on social networking sites up 70%

(Computer Weekly)

Hackers turn to social media to attack companies

(The San Francisco Chronicle)

"Alarming" rise in cyberattacks at social networks: Sophos

(Sydney Morning Herald)