Social Networking and Cyber Threats
Cyber crime has shifted from simple scams including phishing, spoofing, worms and viruses to more sophisticated attacks shutting down network servers and cloud-based systems affecting companies and individuals. Social networking sites are fertile grounds
THE BIGGEST INFORMATION SECURITY threats today is attacks on pervasive devices, social networking and physical systems related to information exchange with accredited cyber security issues. More than 150 social media sites are in vogue today. Such threats have become more acute due to sophistication of botnets and their commercialisation for committing cyber crimes to gain fiscal and other advantage. Globally, 95 per cent of spam is being generated by botnets and millions of computers are attacked via social networking sites where cyber defence is weak. Mobile phone users are estimated to be three times in number to daily Internet users numbering over 1.5 billion. Bulks of both these categories are hooked to social networking sites. You step out of the house and you find any number of people texting their smart phones on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter or using other networking sites. Most smartphones have increasingly attractive third party applications. While the number of smartphone users may triple by the end of this decade, they make an attractive target for cyber criminals. It is easier for them to launch attacks, sabotage and take control of your critical data, communication devices and computers. With extensive implementation of devices like iPhones and iPads, new malware attacks are likely to affect smart phones, VoIP/Mac, social media and even Adobe’s Acrobat Reader.
Dangers of Social Networking
Social networking sites provide organisations with a mechanism for marketing online but they can also lead to serious consequences. Cyber criminals exploit the increased corporate use of cloud computing, social networking, and use of Macs and smartphones for remote access. Cyber crime has shifted from simple scams including phishing, spoofing, worms and viruses to more sophisticated attacks shutting down network servers and cloud-based systems affecting companies and individuals. Social networking sites are fertile grounds for breeding cyber crime. With the incredible growth of their popularity also has come equally large amount of malware. Shortened URLs are the main technique used in attacking social networking sites and it is extremely difficult to identify the source of such attack as millions of people are logged onto the same website. Shortened URLs are used to leverage news feed capabilities of popular social networking sites. The victims are easily tricked into injecting malware and phishing. Abbreviated URLs are the attack method to innocently share link to an e-mail or webpage. Mass distributed attacks are achieved by logging onto a compromised account on the social networking site by posting the short URL linked to a malicious website. Thousands of unsuspecting victims get infected in a matter of minutes as the social networking site automatically distributes this link to the victims’ friends in a multiplying spiral. All that the attacker has to do is to log on to a compromised social networking account and post a shortened link to a malicious website in the status area of the intended victim. Though shortened URLs are not the only method to effect malicious links in news feeds, they definitely are the primary method of attack and responsible for bulk successes.
Recent times have seen dramatic increases in frequency and sophistication of targeted attacks on enterprises. Most social networking sites are being used as attack distribution platforms. Vulnerabilities of Java