Social networking sites are proving to be popular hunting grounds for spammers and scammers these days and Facebook is no exception, having been targeted by the Koobface virus last year.
The latest security threat on the site has been in the form of account hijacking for the purpose of sending spam.
It has been estimated that some 200 million or so users had been targeted in the phishing scam which attempted to acquire their account passwords.
Where those behind the phishing managed to gain access to accounts then they would then use them to send emails to the users’ friends and contacts, asking them to click on embedded links which led to fake websites which appeared to be from Facebook but were actually under the control of the spammers.
Once on the fake Facebook pages some users could be easily tricked into revealing passwords and email addresses.
Those behind the ruse could then use that information to take over more accounts and to send large volumes of spam.
Users of social networking sites need to remember the basics –
- Do not click links in emails unless you are 100% sure of its source
- Choose passwords that are not easily guessed
- Do not publish sensitive or personal information anywhere on the web
Until people can get that right scenarios such as the one above will continue to be far too common.