In a recent interview with Threat Post, Eugene Kaspersky, the founder of the world-renowned security firm, has shared some interesting insight on the dangers that lurk on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
According to Kaspersky, there are several advantages to social networks, for both business and individuals.
For one, they represent perfect communication tools, and they’re also a great way to find friends that share the same interests.
Furthermore, social networking websites offer anyone the possibility to create their own media.
On the other hand, these services can also be “dangerous and harmful.”
“Social networks are unique social engineering platforms. When we use Facebook or Twitter we are like laboratory rats. Every step can be traced and analyzed. Marketing agencies, intelligence services – both private and governmental bodies use this tool as behavioral test faculty,” Kaspersky explained.
Moreover, they’re a great tool for spreading disinformation, not to mention the fact that they're often utilized by cybercriminals to harvest private information, but also by terrorists and extremists for recruiting new members.
Another problem with such services is that they’re like a drug.
“It is much easier to look successful online, than to be successful in real life. And if one day social media become essential, and for any reason collapse, millions of people would feel helpless and miserable,” he added.
Attacks launched via social networks are often multi-level. In the first phase of the attack, cybercriminals steal account credentials with the help of malware or phishing websites.
Then, they utilize the compromised accounts for spam runs, to collect private information, or to steal money from bank accounts.
The expert highlights the fact that there’s no software that can guarantee 100% protection against sophisticated cyber threats. However, comprehensive security solutions – such as the Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 – can offer protection against many attacks that leverage social media sites.