Facebook under fire after latest viral attacks
Monday 02 March 2009
The latest in a series of viral attacks on Facebook take advantage of slack policing of new applications to exploit users' trust in the prominent social networking website.
Five separate security problems have hit the site over the last week. As well as four new applications which try to steal information from users' profiles, a variation on the "Koobface" virus is reported as seeing a resurgence of activity.
The virus, first seen in December 2008, targets users by claiming they need to download a plugin to view a video sent to them by a friend, when it in fact installs a piece of malware which could be used to allow a hacker to take control of infected computers. It also reads any stored login details on infected computers and uses the information to send itself to user's contacts on a range of social networking websites including MySpace and Bebo.
The four Facebook applications which have concerned security experts over the last week have led commentators to criticise the company's laissez-faire approach to the vetting of new utilities on the site. While the rogue applications do not directly harm a user's computer, they can be used to steal users' data.
"There will occasionally be some applications that people don't like," site co-founder Mark Zuckerberg told the BBC's Newsbeat. "Our philosophy is that having an open system anyone can participate in is generally better."
Life & Style blogs
Surgeon backs 'good death' plans - and reveals his own
NHS hit by stealth cuts of £2bn as tariffs received for medical procedures are reduced
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter
Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 2 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...
£40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus and benefits: Ashdown Group: European Recrui...