Facebook faces malware, spam & hacking sticklers

Written by Rachana Khanzode | Mumbai | Updated: May 29 2010, 04:44am hrs
Facebook (FB) founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg might have just come up with the new privacy settings that could be simpler, but controlling spamming, phishing, malware and hacking activities on the social networking website might be a difficult task for the company.

FB user Will Babineau from New York says hes got a link which later spread as a spam across his 650 friends in the list! FBs security page, which was basically created to educate users on how to be safe, is loaded with similar stories. Professional hackers say FB tends to share a lot of information with advertisers in a bid to get their business model running, and privacy settings have little to do with it.

Vijay Mukhi, consultant, technology practice, DSK legal, said, Users are like products for FB and more the information a user shares, more the revenues flow in for FB. The site shares account information with the advertisers and without doing so, they cannot do targeted advertising. However, sharing of information on social networking sites by a user could lead to cyber crime. Sahir Hidayatullah, R&D head at MIEL e-Security, said, Considering the fact that FB privacy settings are difficult to understand, users end up sharing a lot of information without even knowing the extent of information that is being shared publicly.

Security software maker AVG Technologies said they detected and blocked more than three lakh rogue applications in a single day on FB. This latest issue really underscores how vulnerable social networking applications are, said Roger Thompson, AVGs chief research officer.

When contacted Simon Axten, head for privacy and public policy at Facebook, said that the firm deletes the messages across the site after detecting it. However the firm should be screening for the malwares before posting it on to public accounts.