Social Networks May Provide A Chattering Class For Viruses

Recently, a high school pal wrote me about a strange new Web site, adding the parenthetical comment “(69241).” Then, a typically typo-free writer assured me I could “becomee a reall filmm staar noww” and pointed me to a site in India. And a normally level-headed colleague passed along yet another strange address, followed by the exultation “Best store!!!” — then resent the message a minute later.Okay, so my Facebook friends didn’t really write those things. Nor did the co-worker who appeared to invite contacts on Twitter and Facebook to view a “private video.” Instead, a virus did, hijacking their accounts to send messages steering friends to hostile sites.These attacks shouldn’t surprise anybody. Virus authors are creative but ultimately predictable: Whenever a new site or software becomes popular, you can count on these cretins to try to exploit them. And over the past year or so, they have found social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace an attractive target.

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