Monday, February 8, 2010

Facebook's FarmVille: Fertile Fraud Terrain

More than 75 million Oliver Douglas wanna-bes play FarmVille, making it the most popular game application on Facebook. But it's possible that something smells, and it's not virtual manure.

The dangers of apps like FarmVille and Mafia Wars were part of a larger discussion of the perils of social networking at the 2010 ShmooCon security conference. As more people gravitate toward sites like Facebook and Twitter, both locations become target-rich environments for malware authors and those seeking to abscond with your personal information for fraudulent purposes.

If your aunt or nephew can't figure out how to post a picture on their wall, what confidence do you have that they have correctly configured their sharing and privacy preferences for optimal protection?

More to the point, how likely are they to click on a link provided by a "friend" that purports to be an official update or better yet, tips or tricks, or the latest information on how to score unlimited "farm coins"?

From ComputerWorld:

"Facebook has 350 million users with 12 million logging in daily. Twitter is getting 6.2 million new users a month. The target base keeps growing," said Eston, a penetration tester for a Fortune 500 financial services organization.

In one of their more colorful examples, the trio explained how actress Jessica Biel is the most dangerous woman on the Internet because of all the fake profiles of her scattered throughout the social networking landscape.

People on Twitter are easily duped into thinking Biel is following them in Twitter. The Facebook folks proudly count her among their friends, not realizing the page is really under the control of a malicious operator who wants you to click on malicious links on the page.

We would all like to think that Jessica Biel is following us, rather than the other way around (stupid restraining order!). But let's be honest - she's just not that into you. But Russian organized crime members are, and they have all sorts of sites they want you to visit with your unpatched Windows laptop with outdated antivirus software running Internet Explorer 6. Oh yes.

Why do people rob banks? Because that's where the money is.

Why do fraudsters frequent Facebook? Because that's where the low-hanging fruit is.

You've been warned.

Image via Wikipedia

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please tell me what you think.