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20% of Facebook users exposed to malware

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Saturday, 27 November 2010 00:13

London (ANI): Are you a Facebook user? Then there is a good chance that you have been exposed to malware at least once as you trolled through your friends’ news feeds.

The recent statistics released by security firm BitDefender has claimed that approximately 20 percent of all news feeds on Facebook users led to malicious content, reports the BBC.

The firm arrived at its figures after analysing data from 14,000 users who had installed its ‘Safego’ security app.

In a month since its launch, BitDefender also analyzed 17 million posts on the social network.

By clicking on infected links in a news feed, the users risk having viruses installed on their computer.

The majority of infections were associated with apps written by independent developers, which promised enticements and rewards to trick users into installing the malware, BitDefender said.

These apps would then either install malware used for spying on users or to send messages containing adverts to the users’ contacts.

Facebook has a thriving community of independent developers who have built apps for the social network.

The vast majority enable users to tweak their Facebook pages, adding widgets, games or extra functions, such as delivering daily horoscope predictions.

Facebook said it already had steps in place to identify and remove malware-containing links.

“Once we detect a phony message, we delete all instances of that message across the site,” the site said in a statement.

Crooks have targeted social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, because of their vast number of users, said Rik Ferguson, a security researcher for anti-virus maker ‘Trend Micro’.

“Because social networks are based on a community of people you trust, they’re an attractive target for malware writers,” he said.

“You’re more likely to click on a link from someone you trust,” Ferguson added.

Web founder says Facebook is a trap

Sydney (ANI): Tim Berners-Lee, credited with creating the Web, has warned that social networking sites like Facebook and Linkedln represent one of the sever al threats to the future of the world wide web.

In an essay published in Scientific American, Berners-Lee said that the Web is affected by elements that have ‘begun to chip away at its founding principles’, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Social networking sites that do not allow users to extract the information they put into them is a ‘problem’ that could mean the web is ‘broken into fragmented islands’, he said.

Although Facebook recently began allowing users to download profile information, including status updates and photos, it has been roundly criticised for leaving users’ networks of contacts ‘walled’ inside its own site.

Berners-Lee warned that such a ‘closed silo of content’ risked leaving the web fragmented.

“The web evolved into a powerful, ubiquitous tool because it was built on egalitarian principles,” he said.

“The web as we know it, however, is being threatened in different ways ... The more you enter, the more you become locked in. Your social networking site becomes a central platform - a closed silo of content, and one that does not give you full control over your information in it,” he added.

Berners-Lee said there was a worry Facebook could become ‘so big that it becomes a monopoly, which tends to limit innovation’.

Facebook to patent the word ‘face’?

London (ANI): It may sound ridiculous at first, but Facebook is planning to trademark the word ‘face’ because it wants to stop other companies using the term in a way which damages its own brand.

The first stage of the bid has been approved and, provided they complete all the paperwork, the full trademark will be rubber stamped by the U.S. Patent Office in six months time.

Over the next six months Facebook will have to demonstrate it is using the trademark and file a Statement of Use, the next phase, ahead of final approval.

However, the general public will still be able to use ‘face’ without fear of breaking the law, reports the Daily Mail.

In Facebook’s case, it only applies to, “Telecommunication services, namely, providing online chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among computer users in the field of general interest and concerning social and entertainment subject matter.”

So long as Facebook pays the necessary fees, the application is likely to go through without objection, officials said. The U.S. Patent And Trademark Office has already allowed a period for objections and none were raised.

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