Author Topic: Facebook, Twitter provide sensitive info for criminals  (Read 3917 times)

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Offline Beefeater

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Facebook, Twitter provide sensitive info for criminals
« on: August 31, 2009, 01:34:54 PM »
Interesting Article published for business purposes, however, of even greater concern is the risk to naive young people and children.

Facebook, Twitter provide sensitive info for criminals
Users share too much information and often vent on social networking services
Tony Bradley (PC World (US online))  28 August, 2009 06:48:00

Social networking services like Facebook and Twitter foster a false sense of security and lead users to share information which can be used by cybercriminals and social engineers. The very concept of social networking is based on connecting and sharing, but with who?
A recent study found that many users simply accept requests to connect even if they do not know the person they are connecting with. The actual numbers found that 13% of Facebook users and a whopping 92% of Twitter users simply connect with anyone who asks.
Users share too much information and often vent on social networking services. Little tidbits of information about being out on vacation, or complaints about the new desktop operating system, or announcing an upcoming business trip to meet with a foreign competitor all offer tiny sparks of information which can be combined with other sparks to form a light that exposes more than should be shared.
There is a similar debate in the security community regarding out-of-office auto replies from email programs. Automatically sending an email to anyone that emails you including why you're not available, how long you will be gone, and the names, email addresses, and phone numbers of other users to contact in your absence is more information than should be shared outside of the company. Newer versions of products like Exchange and Outlook actually allow users to create separate out-of-office replies for internal and external emails to address the problem of sharing too much information with outsiders.
Its virtually impossible to prevent all such disclosures of information. The reason is that these tidbits are generally useless and innocuous alone. By themselves they appear to be harmless, verging on nonsensical, and most of them are. But, each tidbit reveals some small piece of a larger puzzle and an industrious criminal can dedicate the time and resources to gluing the innocuous, nonsensical pieces together to reveal a larger secret.

Social media users invite burglars in
Security By Emma Woollacott Thursday, August 27, 2009 04:58
London, UK - Twitter amounts to 'internet shopping for burglars', according to a UK insurance agency.

The report - prepared by Legal & General with the help of reformed burglar Michael Fraser - found that 38 percent of users of sites such as Facebook and Twitter have posted status updates detailing their holiday plans, and a third have posted updates saying that they are away for the weekend.

Younger people are even more likely to give away their whereabouts, with 64 percent of 16-24 year olds sharing their holiday plans - which could be a cause for concern for parents.

Given that users are often prepared to be 'friends' online with people they don't really know, this is pretty risky, says the report.

Holiday plans are a dead giveaway

The report found that nearly a quarter of social media users have discussed holiday plans 'wall-to-wall' - outside the privacy of their own page - and 17 percent reported seeing people's residential addresses on pages that can be seen by strangers.

In support of the report, an experiment was conducted to see how many UK social media users would accept a 'friend' invitation from a complete stranger. Of 100 'friend' or 'follow' requests issued to strangers selected at random, 13 percent were accepted on Facebook and 92 per cent on Twitter, without any checks.

Reformed burglar Michael Fraser said: "I call it ‘internet shopping for burglars’. It is incredibly easy to use social networking sites to target people, and then scope out more information on their actual home using other internet sites like Google Street View, all from the comfort of the sofa.

"It scares me to see how many people are prepared to give away valuable information about themselves, to people they simply don't know well enough – if at all."
Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment.  Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.
    Albert Einstein

Offline highlander

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Re: Facebook, Twitter provide sensitive info for criminals
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2009, 11:16:32 AM »
banned in r'home.

Offline bpratt

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Re: Facebook, Twitter provide sensitive info for criminals
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2009, 09:17:41 AM »
What I find annoying about this facebook stuff, is that you constantly get blasted by all and sundry for not having your own site on facebook.

It's really peer pressure that forces a lot of kids on to it, and whilst to many it is a bit of harmless fun, it doesn't take much to turn it around in to something worse.

Prospective employers have been known to check out applicants via their facebook site, and it has not been unheard of people who would otherwise get that job, miss out due to facebook entries.

As has been mentioned earlier, people are continuing to put up sensitive info which is allowing the unscrupulous to steal identities.