We've all seen our fair share of Facebook-based viruses, but a newly released study from security software manufacturer BitDefender
reminds us just how vulnerable we are
when using the social network.
According to the study, 20-percent of all Facebook users are exposed to malware as they troll through their friends' news feeds. The report defines "malware" as any post that, when clicked, results in "the user's account being hijacked and in malware being automatically posted on the walls of the respective user's friends." The majority of the attacks (60-percent) come from malicious third-party Facebook applications. Of those, 21.5-percent are so-called "attack apps," which often claim to offer some sort of feature that Facebook prohibits, like seeing who's defriended you. Over 15-percent offer extras for Facebook games like 'FarmVille,' while 16-percent of Facebook malware lures users with shocking video clips, according to the report.
As CNET explains, it's not just news feeds that are vulnerable to attack, but private messages, as well
. And, unfortunately, the outlook may actually be more grim than the report suggests. BitDefender compiled the statistics using data from a Facebook app called Safego
, which warns users whenever they might be vulnerable to malware. But only 14,000 people actively use the app, and those users are probably more security-conscious than the rest of Facebook's 500 million users, quickly determining whether or not a Page or profile belongs to a scammer. The percentage of vulnerable users, then, may actually be even higher -- all the more reason to be extra vigilant when you're doing your online stalking.
Elderly Amish Man Caught on Film With Prostitute, Blackmailed
When a 75-year-old Amish widower slept with a prostitute, he -- we feel certain -- felt pretty bad about it the next morning. As if that guilt weren't enough for the old man, the prostitute and her boyfriend demanded $67,000 from him, claiming that they had filmed the scene with wall-mounted cameras and would upload the recording to the Internet. The pair was later arrested and, we can only imagine, the Amish man abhorred technology more than ever.
Bank Robber Gets Away With the Help of Craiglist
In October, a bank robber -- wearing a safety vest, blue shirt, face mask and goggles -- eluded police with the help of Craiglist. Just outside the bank, while the robbery was in progress, stood a group of men who were responding to a Craiglist day labor opportunity. As the advertisement required, they were all wearing safety vests, blue shirts, face masks and goggles.
Nude New Zealander Arrested After Responding to Fake Sexy Text Message
Late in 2007, a Wellington, New Zealand man received a racy text message from two anonymous "ladies," giving him only an address and a request that he show up naked. Well, he indeed showed up naked... at the home of one appalled, unsuspecting New Zealander. Both the nude Romeo and the sadistic texter were arrested, though neither were prosecuted.
Fake Craiglist Ad Costs Man Most of What He Owns
Last Spring, a post appeared on an Oregon Craigslist board stating that the owner of a specific house was leaving all of his worldly possessions (still in said house) to whoever wanted them. When homeowner Robert Salisbury rushed home -- on a tip from a woman suspicious about the offer of a free horse -- he found his house being ransacked by 30 strangers. We suggest he take that horse and collect some vengeance Clint Eastwood-style.
17-Year-Old Jailed for Stealing Virtual 'Furniture'
When a 17-year-old Dutch boy hacked into several accounts on the Second Life-style site 'Habbo' in 2007, the the law got involved. The boy was discovered to have stolen $5,800 worth of virtual furniture and knick-knacks. Apparently, crime -- whether actual or virtual -- does not pay.
Phishers Going After Your Phones in New 'Vishing' Trend
Over the past year, sneaky spammers have begun to forsake the worn-out territory of e-mail in favor of cell phones' fertile frontier. The result? "Vishing." Get it? Voice mail + phishing. It might be more ominous if it didn't sound like a James Bond villain saying, "Wishing."
Burglars Break Into Restaurant, Steal HDTV, Leave Money / Food Behind
Around Halloween of last year, a truckload of thieves drove into -- that's right, into -- a Pennsylvania Mexican restaurant, where they -- apparently uninterested in the cash register -- stole a mid-grade 47-inch HDTV and fled the scene. We've all heard about how this generation is lacking in ambition, but this generation's thieves, too?