Feeds

Facebook account-protection push opts for scare tactics

Give us your number... bitch

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Facebook has quietly begun testing new account-protection features but the scary wording of prompts to try out the technology might easily be mistaken for a sophisticated phishing attack.

Users of the social network might be offered the protection via an ad in the side panel which reads: "Your account protection is very low - increase protection". Clicking through the ad leads to a page on Facebook that encourages users to submit a second email address and a phone number. In some cases it also asks users to change their security question.

The phone number is requested even if users have previously deleted this information from their profile, making it appear like a push to get users to add their phone numbers on the basis that this will speed account recovery if something goes wrong.

Gmail recently introduced a similar procedure for webmail account recovery, and the basic approach is fair enough, though some will be understandably wary of handing over their phone number to either Gmail or Facebook.

It's far easier to fault Facebook for the vague and scaremongery warning that comes with the account protection push. Saying to users "Your account protection is very low - increase protection" mimics the approach of phishing scams, which are certainly not unknown on Facebook. Trend Micro warned of one such phishing scam only earlier this week.

A Reg staffer was confronted by the account protection push earlier this week and it certainly wasn't immediately obvious – to us or to the security firms we spoke with – that the approach was legitimate. The Allfacebook blog reported the roll-out of the "improved" account protection approach on Tuesday, but its report concentrated on the "change of security question" issue.

We asked Facebook to comment on the tactics of its account protection campaign but had yet to hear back from the dominant social network at the time of going to press. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.