Feeds

Loudmouth workers leaking data through social networking sites

Twitter ye not

Website security in corporate America

Almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of sys administrators fear that workers share too much personal information through social networking websites, according to a poll by IT security firm Sophos.

Blabby workers are putting corporate infrastructure and data at risk, according to the survey, which also found that a quarter of organisations got hit by spam, phishing or malware attacks via sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace.

These social networking sites have become a favourite locale for cybercrooks bent on stealing identities, distributing malware or sending spam.

"The initial productivity concerns that many organisations harboured when Facebook first shot to popularity are giving way to the realisation that there are more deliberate and malicious risks associated with social networking," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

Although one third of organisations still reckon timewasting on social networking sites is the greater issue with sites such as Twitter and Facebook, malware and data leakage were also cited as concerns by many firms.

Attacks on social networking sites over recent months have run the gamut, from scams designed to trick users into sending money to exotic locations under the pretence that a friend is in trouble, to malware disguised as Facebook error messages. Often hackers obtain access to profile using phishing techniques before using these compromised accounts.

The Sophos survey found that one third of respondents has received spam through social networking sites, while one in five (21 per cent) have been the victim of targeted phishing or malware attacks.

Sophos reckons that regulating - rather than proscribing - access to social networking websites is the way to go. "The danger is that by completely denying staff access to their favourite social networking site, organisations will drive their employees to find a way round the ban – and this could potentially open up even greater holes in corporate defences," explained Cluley.

"Let's not also forget that social networking sites can have beneficial business purposes for some firms too, giving them the chance to network with existing customers and potential prospects." ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.