Many Companies Say FACEBOOK is the Riskiest Social Networking Site

Did you read my earlier article about how some applications were not really safe on Facebook? The article is here.The article was basically about how Facebook doesn’t always have your best interest in mind. They are not screening the applications on there very well and what you get when they do not screen the applications very well is malware and spyware and even viruses on your computer.

Over 70% more companies reported spam and malicious infections arrived via social networks in 2009 vs. 2008. By the end of last year, 72% of companies expressed concern that their employees’ use of popular social sites could result in a security breach. Of all the companies that reported, 60% of companies now consider Facebook to be the riskiest social network out there.

Those findings, released Monday, come from a survey of 500 companies worldwide conducted by security firm Sophos. They help quantify the rising tide of spam and malicious infections proliferating on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Bebo and other such social networks.

As the planet’ s largest social network, Facebook might naturally be expected to emerge as the No. 1 target of cybercriminals, says Graham Cluley, a senior analyst at Sophos. But he says Facebook has exacerbated matters by asking its members to embrace a new, more granular privacy setting. Cluley demonstrates in this video how the new setting, in effect, authorizes Facebook to expose more of its member-generated content to everyone on the Internet.

Facebook’s new privacy setting gives the company leeway to submit more content to Google, Microsoft Bing and Yahoo Search so the search services can incorporate more Facebook content into real-time search results, much as they’ve begun doing with Twitter microblog postings, says Cluley. Don’t believe me? Google your name. When I Google my name the first thing that pops up is my twitter account.

However, the wider release of Facebook members’ data “inevitably means more information will be made available to cybercriminals who want to target you or you company for an attack,” says Cluley.

Facebook continues to defend its new privacy setting as flexible and easy to change. But privacy advocates continue to criticize the move. And last week the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada launched an investigation into a citizen’s complaint about the new settings.

Meanwhile, Sophos’ new survey includes extensive analysis about how Facebook, Twitter and other social networks have become like a candy store for data thieves. The fast-morphing Koobface social network worm is a case in point:

Most notably, the notorious Koobface worm family became more diverse and sophisticated in 2009. The sophistication of Koobface is such that it is capable of registering a Facebook account, activating the account by confirming an email sent to a Gmail address, befriending random strangers on the site, joining random Facebook groups, and posting messages on the walls of Facebook friends (often claiming to link to sexy videos laced with malware). Furthermore, it includes code to avoid drawing attention to itself by restricting how many new Facebook friends it makes each day.

Koobface’s attack vectors broadened, targeting a wide range of sites other than the one that gave it its name (i.e., Facebook). Social networking sites, including MySpace and Bebo, were added to the worm’s arsenal in 2008; Tagged and Friendster joined the roster in early 2009; and most recently the code was extended to include Twitter in a growing battery of attacks. It is likely we will see more malware following in the footsteps of Koobface, creating Web 2.0 botnets with the intention of stealing data, displaying fake anti-virus alerts and generating income for hacking gangs.

This is why you have to be aware of who you FRIEND on Facebook and other sites. If you are allowing random people you don’t know to befriend you on Facebook, that’s a problem!. Are you just after a high number of friends? Well, welcome to virus-ville. I don’t even friend some that I do know as friends.

The Lenovo U1 Hybrid Could Be Better Than The iPad

I just saw this video about the new Lenovo U1 Hybrid that will come out later this year. I think it is an amazing device. It is a notebook computer and tablet all in one, or is it two? Check out the video and you decide how amazing it is.

What the iPad can and can’t do

Apple’s iPad tablet computer will be available in March starting at $499, but it already has sparked a range of questions about how it will work. The touch-screen multimedia device uses the same operating system as Apple’s popular iPhone and can access the 140,000 apps available to the iPhone and iPod Touch. USA TODAY reporter Jefferson Graham offers some answers:

Q: I need a data plan to get 3G wireless service on the iPad, but don’t I already have one from AT&T for my iPhone?

A: You’ll need an additional one. Prices are $14.99 for 250 MB of service (good for just e-mail) or $29.99 for unlimited access.

The good news: You’re not under a contract and can cancel at any time. Additionally, because the device works with Wi-Fi, you don’t necessarily have to spring for 3G.

Q: There’s no USB or SD slot. How do I get my photos, video and music files into the iPad?

A: Through iTunes and your PC or Mac computer. Think of the iPad as a giant iPhone or iPod (which of course, it is). Apple hasn’t changed the transfer system. You need to connect the iPad to your computer and sync the video, music and photos through iTunes.

But here’s a potential time-saver: Apple will release a 30-pin adapter — think of the wide end of the cable that syncs your iPod to your computer — to connect digital cameras and the iPad. Apple says it will work only with digital cameras, but can a hack for all sorts of media really be far behind?

Q: I already have my photos and videos stored online. Can’t I access them in the same way I do on the iPhone?

A: Photos on sites such as Facebook, Shutterfly and Phanfare will be easy to pull up — and even quicker if you go through one of their apps — but videos stored on Facebook and Shutterfly won’t play because they’re in the Flash format, which the iPad doesn’t support.

Q: The iPad is billed as the ultimate multimedia device, but I can’t play most Web video or animation? What’s up with that?

A: The iPhone and iPod Touch leave big white holes when you try to access video and animation on popular websites such as Hulu, Vimeo, Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon, which are displayed in Flash video.

Apple says it supports HTML5, a new Web video standard, and not Flash, without giving any reason.

Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey says that with all of the criticism about the strain on AT&T’s 3G network, Apple is better off not offering Flash support.

“It would kill the network,” he says. “People would be watching all day. Maybe two years from now, they could handle the traffic, but not now.”

There is a work-around for watching Web video: Use an app. YouTube,,, and many other big video sites have apps that let you watch video.

Q: The new iBooks app that will sell new releases of e-books sounds great. Since the store is in iTunes, can I buy the books and read them on my iPhone or iPod Touch?

A: No. Apple says the application for reading the books is only on the iPad.

Q: Can I listen to online music from Pandora on the iPad and compose an e-mail at the same time?

A: Nope. There’s no multitasking, just as there isn’t on the iPhone or Touch.

That has been one of the biggest criticisms of the iPhone and a selling point for competing devices such as those using Google’s Android system, which does have multitasking.

The Evil Google Toolbar

I recently read an article from Benjamin Edelman that contained a lot of detail on how the Google Toolbar is actually spying on your search habits and what you are looking for.

He writes “Run the Google Toolbar, and it’s strikingly easy to activate “Enhanced Features” — transmitting to Google the full URL of every page-view, including searches at competing search engines.”

This is even AFTER you disable it!

He has lots of data to back up his claim.

And to think I was going to write an article about how I loved and used Google Voice. I think I just changed my mind. They are surely recording and logging every piece of data that comes over the wire. Good thing I only use it as a catch all phone number. Ahhh meh, I still may write about it soon.

My advice on the Google Toolbar…uninstall it. It has no real purpose anymore anyways.

Read it here

Google Toolbar Tracks Browsing Even After Users Choose “Disable”

Apple Tablet-Iphone OS Based

In an interview with CNBC, McGraw-Hill’s CEO confirms that their textbooks will be on the Apple Tablet and it will be an iPhone OS based machine. When asked about rumors that their textbooks will be on the Apple tablet, Terry McGraw responds:

“Yeah, Very exciting. Yes, they’ll make their announcement tomorrow on this one. We have worked with Apple for quite a while. And the Tablet is going to be based on the iPhone operating system and so it will be transferable. So what you are going to be able to do now — we have a consortium of e-books. And we have 95% of all our materials that are in e-book format on that one. So now with the tablet you’re going to open up the higher education market, the professional market. The tablet is going to be just really terrific.”


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