Sex, Celebrities And Facebook

The world of technology is always evolving at what seems to be an incredible pace. The devices we use and the things that we can do with them often seem to change overnight. But there are some constants.


Catalin Cosoi of BitDefender has given a timely reminder that popular topics can always be a door into the murky world of malware.

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you how popular the social network Facebook is all around the world. But what you may not know is that all of the top 10 most popular scams discovered on the site are based on celebrities and their supposed sexual indiscretions.

In an interview with USA Today Catalin said that the bad guys will only stick with the same ruses if they are working –

“Cyber-criminals have no reason to stop ­ for them, it’s a profitable business with low overhead. The lack of novelty when it comes to crafting Facebook scams shows they have no reason to invest in new baits. And why would they spend time and energy coming up with new material when users still answer to the same old emotional triggers?”

And therein lies the problem of course – to many of us, especially those who have some knowledge or interest in security, the headlines used and the trick of getting us to fill in surveys, etc in order to access this non-existent spicy content is a huge red flag.

But for other users, a large enough number to make such a tactic still viable, there is no such wariness and this is an area where security awareness and maybe even some basic level training could seriously help people. As always, the popularity of such scams shows that the weakest link in security is often, if not always, the user rather than the machine or the security software it may or may not have on it.

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Lessons to be learned

  • Think carefully before clicking on any link on the web, irrespective of which site it is on
  • Be very wary of any site that asks you to complete a survey in order to access content – question why that is
  • Ask yourself why you need to know which celebrities are doing what to whom – perhaps you need to get out more? 😀


photo: je@n

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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