Published on December 2, 2008
Online Social Networks Photo provided by http://flickr.com/photos/luc/1804295568/ via GNUCITIZEN 5 threats and 5 ways to use them safely
What are Online Social Networks? Online community of Internet users Users share common interests − Hobbies − Religion − Politics − Friends − Schools Multiple ways for users to interact such as chat, messaging, email, video, voice chat, file sharing, blogging, discussion groups...
Who uses Online Social Networks? Most popular with “Generation-Y” “Teens and Tweens” “Generation-X” and older is the latest trend
Most Popular Social Networking Web Sites
Top 5 Threats to Online Social Networks
#1 Cyberbullying, stalking, and sexual predators Teens bashing other teens... Megan Meier suicide MySpace released a report in 2007 showing 29,000 registered sex offenders on MySpace
#2 Vulnerabilities in Applications/Widgets Widgets, third-party applications XSS (Cross Site Scripting) Samy/Quicktime Malicious banner ads/background images (Alicia Keys’) Be careful! Some applications will override privacy settings! From the blog post: “Invading the Space: Alicia Keys’ MySpace and… RBN?” http://blog.trendmicro.com/invading-the-space-alicia-keys-myspace-and-rbn/
#3 Spear Phishing and SPAM Fake “friend requests” Emails that look like they are legitimate! Screen shot courtesy of Paul Asadoorian, pauldotcom.com
#4 Collection and aggregation of personal data Most privacy policies are very vague Think about it...$35 per user when MySpace was sold to News Corp in 2005 Sites like Plaxo aggregate all of these social networks together The following is an example of a privacy statement: “[SNS Provider] also logs non-personally identifiable information including IP address, profile information, aggregate user data, and browser type, from users and visitors to the site. This data is used to manage the website, track usage and improve the website services. This non-personally-identifiable information may be shared with third-parties to provide more relevant services and advertisements to members.” - From the ENISA position paper “Security Issues and Recommendations for Online Social Networks
#5 Evil Twin Attacks Chris Pirillo by Alan Berner - The Seattle Times Fake profiles Reputation slander Corporate espionage (LinkedIn) Weak authentication of the user (are you who you say you are?)
Top 5 Ways to Safely use Online Social Networks
#1 Set appropriate privacy defaults All Social Networking sites have wide-open privacy defaults!
#2 Be careful with third-party applications/widgets Some of these applications will override privacy settings Example: “Secret Crush” Facebook application − Installed adware “worm” Photos from Fortinet: http://www.fortiguardcenter.com/advisory/FGA-2007-16.html
#3 Limit personal information Don’t post your full name, SSN, address...etc... Be cautious about posting information that could be used to identify you or locate you offline Careful with choosing an online alias and what it says about you “The more info you share, the more valuable you are”
#4 Only accept friend requests/connections from people you know directly Most are SPAM Most are bots that want to trick you! LinkedIn − Be aware of corporate espionage!
#5 Only post information your mother is comfortable seeing! Anyone can view these photos including employers, friends, and enemy's Don't trust a private profile! “Use common sense!”
Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org http://spylogic.net
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