CIO - I don't spend a lot of time on Facebook, so when I got an e-mail from the social networking site telling me "you haven't been back to Facebook recently" and here are some messages you missed, it didn't seem odd. I clicked on the link, wondering what one of my friends was doing.
Oops. I was a victim of a hacking technique called "clickjacking." If it hadn't been for security measures built into Firefox, I might have been in trouble, because rather than going to Facebook, I was headed for http://sleepingpillsfitnesspills.com.
That site might have simply been an ad for cut-rate, Canadian pills - an annoying, but harmless detour. But it also could have been a site loaded with malware, include rogue applications designed to steal key personal information from me and people in my address book.
Facebook, with its hundreds of millions of users, has become the target of hackers, spammers, and just plain crooks. They're trying to lure you in via scam surveys, fake applications and poisoned links, according to a report by Sophos Security.
Unfortunately, Facebook is far from the only popular Web site being compromised these days. Amazon, the giant e-tailing site, inadvertently left a door open that hackers could use to steal your password and get access to your credit card info.
And no matter what you've read about those evil Russian hacker rings, it turns out no country is the origin of more cyber attacks than the United States, according to Akamai's quarterly "State of the Internet" report.
Here are five new threats, including three that target Facebook users:
1. Clickjacking: Sophos Security says this is one of the most common attacks hitting Facebook users. These attacks use maliciously created pages where the true function of a button is concealed beneath an opaque layer showing something entirely different. Often sharing or "liking" the content in question sends the attack out to contacts through news feeds and status updates, propagating the scam.
In my case, I'm a bit embarrassed to admit, I could have avoided the scam page by simply noticing that the address of the e-mail allegedly sent by Facebook was obviously phony. email@example.com. The lesson here is obvious: When you get an e-mail with a link, notice the return address. If it seems odd, delete it. Additionally, keep your browsers up to date; all are doing a better job screening out dangerous stuff, and since they're free, why not take advantage of that protection.
2. Fake surveys: This scam is related to clickjacking since it attempts to make you click on something dangerous via a misleading message. Typically, the scam starts with a provocative (sexual or otherwise) message. Here's one that Sophos highlighted recently: "OMG! Look What this Kid did to his School after being Expelled! After this 11 year old child was expelled from his school he went berserk." Well, that's intriguing.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Threat Landscape Hardly a day goes by without the discovery of a new cyberthreat somewhere in the world! But how do you keep up with...
- Security for Virtualization In the rush to implement virtualization, security has become second. So while the business benefits are clear, the risks are less well documented...
- Accelerating Network Convergence in Virtualized and Cloud Data Centers Adopting a converged networking strategy enables organizations to traffic server and storage I/O workloads on consolidated data throughput channels. Intelligent software helps optimize...
- Omnichannel: From Buzzword to Strategy Customers demand a seamless experience across channels, especially mobile. Read this whitepaper for a research-based framework for using omnichannel for higher customer engagement.
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Malware and Vulnerabilities White Papers | Webcasts