With each passing day, more and more companies of all different sizes are developing a presence on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in order to increase brand awareness, interact with customers and create buzz for their products and services.
But as eSecurity Planet reports, 2010 was a banner year for hackers and malware authors who are using these social networking sites as their prime hunting grounds for stealing information or spreading malicious content through their various communities.
According to a new survey by security software vendor Sophos, 67 percent of all enterprise employees were spammed through their various social networks in 2010 and four in 10 received some form of malware from Facebook, Twitter or some other similar site.
“Total bans on users accessing social networking sites are becoming rarer, as more firms recognize the value such sites can bring in raising brand awareness and delivering social media marketing campaigns,” Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said in the report. “If your business isn’t on Facebook, but your competitors are, you are going to be at a disadvantage.”
Last year, 95,000 pieces of new malware popped every day, according to Sophos, up from 50,000 new threats a day in 2009.
While many of the social networking-based campaigns are little more than annoying spam scams, creative phishing campaigns designed to steal banking and credit card information tagged 43 percent of social networking users last year, up from 21 percent in 2009.