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Hackers aim at social networks

04 August 2009 / 11:08:54  GRReporter
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A popular way to maintain "live" contact with other people are programs created as websites, providing a media for sharing pictures and interesting moments of your personal life. While standing there, convinced that what you do is sharing your latest photo-trip with a friend of yours, you may have fallen into the net of internet-mafia.  

Facebook, MySpace and other social networks have turned to even more attractive target for hackers, tempted by the abundance of private data and information posted by users, say internet specialists. Thousands of Facebook and Twitter users have been affected since August 2008. The viruses mainly aim at bank account numbers used for social net services.

A common message that should serve as a warning that a virus is trying to approach your computer is the one saying that the Flash Player version is not supported by your PC any more, so you need to download the next version, which is actually the virus. Facebook is trying to find a way to respond to "Koobface" and similar viruses attacks. One is to annul the accounts of users acting suspiciously, sending too many messages for a single day for example.

Different ways exist to protect against such viruses. You should be very careful about who you are adding to your friends list. You should also watch out for tests that demand too much personal information. Daily horoscopes and free user games may contain links to hostile websites. A birthday reminder may look as if it was sent by friends, but it may actually be directly connected to websites using all means to convince you to share personal data, passwords, bank accounts, etc.

Together with the grown number of viruses identified during the recent years, the profile of internet intruders has altered. While in the past they have been mainly represented by teenagers showing off their computer and programming skills, today one need to have much better technology skills, i.e. be a real hacker, in order to know what instruments to use and how to use them in this new spy-technique. A new cyber-mafia have emerged, with purely economical purposes, particularly evident in Russia, China, Brazil and Ukraine. Buying a website-contaminating program costs a hacker around $1500 but his profits may reach as much as $21,000 to $800,000.

Tags: Internet hackers social networks
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