Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dangerous Curves on the Information Superhighway

Reports of a new adware attack put Facebook in the news for all the wrong reasons again today. The social networking site is of course still under scrutiny for making people's personal information too widely available on the web.

Apparently a new attack has surfaced in the form of a fake video entitled, "distracting beach babes." The supposed video is advertised by a thumbnail depicting scantily clad women frolicking in bikinis. Clicking on the thumbnail will direct your browser to a rogue Facebook app which will tell you that you need to download a new player in order to view the video.

Of course there is no video and the player is in fact a malicious adware application that download and displays multiple pop-up ads on your computer while it attempts to infect the rest of your network.

It is perhaps worth noting that the last such attack that was launched on Facebook was in the form of a fake sex video entitled, "sexiest video ever." With users willfully putting all their private information up on the site and apparently easily distracted by anything remotely resembling porn, perhaps Facebook isn't entirely to blaim.

Certainly while on the road we might from time time take a moment to gawk at roadside billboards featuring American Apparel models. Well apparently on the web we are just as, if not more easy to distract

British web-security firm Sophos, has nonetheless urged Facebook to implement an early warning system on the network that would keep users abreast of such threats as they arose.

Having a warning system on our Internet interface is not a bad idea. We already do to a certain extent such as when our browsers warn us about entering financial information into websites with questionable certification.

Our computers are, after all, the vehicles we use to navigate the inroads of the Internet. We need to keep them in good running order. Just as signs on the highway might inform us of dangerous curves ahead (which could be the next fake sex video attack by the way), Web based warnings could help us steer clear of the more bumpy, treacherous stretches of the information superhighway.

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