Home > All, Vendor News > Do we know it’s the silly season when we all repeat warnings about social networking?

Do we know it’s the silly season when we all repeat warnings about social networking?

Is there a silly season for security bloggers? You’d expect not, since most are not reliant on advertising (mainly because they can’t get any); nor do cybercriminals tend adhere to any summer recess. You would expect, therefore, that the quantity and quality of security blogs would remain constant throughout the year.

But what if there were a silly season? What would we talk about? I know! Facebook and the dangers of social networking. That’s always good for a few paragraphs, even if we’ve said it all before, and just yesterday. I certainly said it yesterday as part of the article, the art of social engineering (a few paragraphs near the end).

And this afternoon, Trend Micro is saying it in a special whitepaper called Security Guide to Social Networks by David Sancho.

This document will cover the most common areas of attack using social networks and will recommend ways of minimizing risks. The goal of this paper is not to stop you from participating in social networks but to enable you to use them more safely.

Sancho then discusses the vast caverns of data that can be mined, the huge networks of contacts that can be developed, and the seemingly unending stream of software flaws that can be exploited on social networks. He concludes with two primary pieces of advice:

  • you should only publish information that you are perfectly comfortable with, depending on what you want to accomplish.
  • [you should] add only people you trust to your contact list.

The silly thing about this advice is that it is so damn obvious and so damn ignored!

And this evening, Lancope is also saying it. “IT administrators should be aware of the following productivity and security issues associated with social networking sites such as Facebook…” It then goes on to list

  • Workplace Productivity Issues – Facebook Chat and games such as Mafia Wars and Farmville can add up to huge losses in worker productivity…
  • Phishing – Attackers can leverage personal information found on social networking sites…
  • Flash-based Vulnerabilities in Games – Web 2.0 technology has led to an amazingly rich and unfortunately fragile world of games…
  • Information Leakage – Corporations need to reinforce their policies on proprietary information disclosure…
  • Network Impact – Organizations with large concentrations of users can see a significant network impact…

It must be the silly season because we’re beginning to say the same things over and over again. But the really silly thing is that we still need to.

Trend Micro’s Security Guide to Social Networks

Categories: All, Vendor News
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