Monday, June 4, 2012

Likejacking Using Social Media Spam

Social media spam is taking off and it is not good. Up until a year or so ago, spam was primarily delivered using email. As email spam filters have improved - spammers have turned to an easier target - social media sites including Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

How bad is it getting? Mark Risher, CEO of Imperium is quted in a recent Business Week piece claiming spammers create as many as 40% of the accounts on social media sites. He also says about 8 percent of messages sent via social pages are spam. This is twice the volume of six months ago.

Here's how it works in Facebook - it can be as simple as liking or sharing an image or page which could allow a spam app access to your profile and friend list. Many are now referring this as "likejacking" or "clickjacking". Pinterest is extremely vulnerable with spammers embedding links in pictures - click a thumbnail to view a picture and you may end up linked to someplace you do not want to go.

Social media sites are playing catchup now, hiring hundreds of programming specialists and security experts to protect users from spammers. It will get better.

Last January, Facebook sued Ascend Media, an advertising firm that, according to the same Business Week piece, is pulling in around $960 thousand per month.  In addition, Twitter recently sued alleged spammers Skootle and JL4 Web Solutions.

Bottom line - don't friend, like, share, click, users and things that look spammy.

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